There's no feeling like making your first Olympic team, and Regan Smith knows it. The 19-year-old swimmer won the 100-meter backstroke at the US Olympic Trials yesterday, earning an automatic berth to Tokyo. Her reaction when she saw the result said it all.
Smith led at the halfway mark, leading a tight pack with Rhyan White and Olivia Smoliga, the bronze medalist in the event in the 2019 World Championships. Smith splashed into the wall a mere 0.25 seconds ahead of White, turned to see the results, and reacted immediately, staring at the video board in shock. You can see her say, "Oh my gosh," as it started to sink in.
Smith, the 200-meter backstroke world champion and former 100-meter world record holder (Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown beat her time just a few days ago), said afterward that the last 25 meters of the race "started to hurt really bad. . . I just knew I had to get my hand on that wall as fast as I could. I'm just so happy." The moment was "very surreal. It hasn't hit me yet," she said. "I know 10-year-old me would be so proud." Watch the full race and Smith's emotional (and understandably exhausted) postrace interview above, then get ready to watch her go for it at the 2021 Olympics next month!
To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 on NBC.