WASHINGTON — Based on what’s happened at the past couple Summer Olympics, you probably already know that the Washington-Baltimore area has had some swimming success.
Michael Phelps started the medal count 12 years ago, and Katie Ledecky began adding to it in London in 2012. Both are headed to Rio in August, but they aren’t the only locals who will be representing Team USA.
Between Richmond and Baltimore, there will be six other local swimmers going for gold in Brazil.
“The United States being the most elite swimming program in the world, it’s probably the most challenging team to make,” said Jeremy Linn, a coach at Nation’s Capital Swim Club in Bethesda, Maryland, where Ledecky grew up.
“You break through and you make that U.S. Olympic team, you’re in contention for a medal right away.”
Linn would know. He snagged an individual silver in the 100-meter breaststroke and a team gold in the 400 medley relay at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he has watched the programs in the Washington and Baltimore region grow into the strongest not just in the country, but perhaps the entire world.
“North Baltimore and Nation’s Capital Swim Club are the two clubs that have, throughout the last 35 years, produced to that elite level,” he said, noting that more than 100 of the 1,500 swimmers competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials came from in and around the area.
“As far as participation in the sports of swimming is concerned, I would say the greater Washington D.C. area is the capital of the world. I think there’s more people here in this sport than any other place in the world,” Linn added.
See the full list of the eight local swimmers that will compete in Rio in the gallery above.