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Blowing us out of the water is Cary native and rising high school senior Claire Curzan. Qualifying in Olympic trials with a beastly 56.43-second 100-meter butterfly time, the 16YO phenom swimmer—who trains and competes locally for year-round club team TAC Titans under coach Bruce Marchionda, in addition to swimming for Cardinal Gibbons High School—is set to spread her wings to Tokyo to go for gold.
Says Cardinal Gibbons head swim coach Jonah Turner, who was in Omaha supporting Curzan at the Olympic Trials, “I have always admired Claire’s maturity and mental toughness. I am still in awe of her performance… to be 16 and be able to walk out to an electrifying crowd for finals on the biggest swimming stage when your name is called and knowing only the top two swimmers will make the Olympic team—all while being able to control your emotions and nerves—speaks volumes about her.”
Also thrilled to speak volumes about her is her bursting-with-pride dad, Mark Curzan—who rightfully gushed in a phone interview with us from Omaha after she punched her ticket to Tokyo. “To witness all the dedication and hard work come to fruition is really cool. What a Father’s Day gift,” he said through joyful tears, before joking that he’d have to phone in to his daughters’ (he has two, and one son) weddings because he won’t be able to handle it.
Meanwhile, Claire, who signed her first autograph in Omaha but is as humble as they come, is taking it all in. “I’ve done that race so many times, it’s ingrained in my body,” she told us. “When I touched the wall, I had no idea if I made it. But when I saw the board, reality hit me that I had achieved my childhood dream.”
Just proves where there’s a will, there’s a wave. Go get that gold, Claire. #Tokyo2021
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