Utah’s Own Makes a Splash at the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials

The 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials are just around the corner, and Utah’s very own

Rhyan White will be swimming to get a spot on the U.S.A. Olympic team. The Olympic Trials

will be held June 26 to July 3 at the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and streamed live

on NBC. Swimmers who place in the top two spots in one of the thirteen individual events will

receive a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic swim team.

Rhyan White is a sophomore at Cottonwood High School, and she lives in Herriman. She

is sixteen years old and will be one of the youngest girls competing at Olympic Trials. She

qualified for trials last June when she was just 15 years old, and at the time she was the youngest


“Getting my trials cut took a lot of hard work. I practice every day, two times a day. I

have to eat healthy and be ready for every workout,” said White.

She began her swimming career at six years old on her local country club swim team.

Then at age eight she joined a competitive swim team and fell in love with the sport.

The last Olympic Trials were held in 2012, before the London Olympics, but White never

thought she would be there one day. “Back then, it was more of dream to go to the Olympic

Trials. It’s not something I ever thought could be reality,” said White.

“I am very fortunate to get to work with an athlete like her,” said Ron Lockwood,

White’s coach. “We as coaches always hope to work with an athlete who has the drive, the

passion, and the excitement to get to that next level.”

In preparation for the Olympic Trials, White has to train at an intense level to keep up

with the collegiate athletes and past-Olympians she will be competing against. “I have started

going to a personal trainer so I can get stronger, I have had to make new goals, and make

swimming my number one priority. I don’t go a day without thinking about it,” she said.

White will be swimming the 100 meter and 200 meter backstroke at Trials. She believes

that her chances in earning a spot on the Olympic team are very possible.

“I remember standing on the pool deck three years ago and Coach Allen [White’s former

coach] said to me, ‘Sometimes you get that kid where you just catch lighting in a bottle’, and she

has proven Allen right in that,” said Coach Lockwood.

For even the best swimmers, qualifying for the Olympic Trials is a dream that most never

reach. To put it in perspective, swimming at the Olympic Trials means swimming in the same

pool as Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time.

The best way to describe this meet is that the swimming is faster than fast, and the nerves

are higher than high. There are jumbotrons, loud music, firework explosions, and camera crews

everywhere. “I have learned good race strategies, and I am glad that I have been to the big

meets I’ve been to because they have helped me to channel my nerves better so I don’t think I’ll

be as nervous at trials,” said White. “And even just a little bit of nerves will push me even more

in my races.”

White got first place in the 200 backstroke at Junior Nationals, which is one step down

from Olympic Trials. Racing at this high level has prepared her to take on the competition she

will face at Trials.

White’s experiences have made her a role model for so many swimmers in Utah and

around the country. For athletes that want to make it far in their sports, White says, “Keep your

mind set on your goals. When you want to give up in practice, ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing

this?’ When you want to quit, remember why you started.”

This summer, do not forget to tune in to NBC to watch the Olympic Trials and cheer on

the valley’s very own Rhyan White.