A swimmer from Lafayette has been tearing up the pool since she could barely walk. Jillian Barczyk is a Louisiana state champion and graduate from Ascension Episcopal. She's now swimming at the University of Georgia, and will represent her college and City of Lafayette Aquatics (COLA) at the Olympic trials.
The Olympic Trials start Friday and she will compete in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle events. Asked if she has dreamed of the Olympics since she was a kid, Barczyk says, "When I very first started swimming had I dreamed of this moment? I mean I started swimming like when I was three, I think I started swimming competitively when I was five or six. I was just there because I had a fun time, and mom was the coach at that time and I liked being around the big kids."
She also says COLA taught her to reach for all of those goals. She adds, "COLA swimming made me who I am today. I taught me how to be a hard worker, it taught me how to be a leader. It taught me how to be a strong woman in a sport, which is difficult sometimes. But I'm glad COLA taught me that. And having my parents as coaches."
Her dad, David Barczyk says other swimmers will notice and try to reach those goals as well, saying, "The way it works, it's just you start believing that you can. So when they see other kids that they swam with make it, then they start to believe the can do it too."
Barczyk could move up to the WAVE II finals if she makes the top two in WAVE I. Some of the meet will be broadcast on the Olympic Channel, NBCSN, and NBC. The 200 Freestyle is scheduled for Saturday and the 400 freestyle is scheduled for Sunday. For the full schedule visit the USA Swimming Website.