HomeNewsLocalWeitzeil Tests Positive for COVID After Olympic Swim Trials

Weitzeil Tests Positive for COVID After Olympic Swim Trials

SANTA CLARITA (CNS) – Santa Clarita swimmer Abbey Weitzeil, who will be competing in the Summer Olympics in Paris later this month, said she tested positive for COVID-19 after the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Indianapolis, but Wednesday she has no symptoms and is preparing to travel with Team USA.

Weitzeil, a four-time Olympic medal winner, said in an exclusive interview with City News Service on Monday that she was sick when she raced in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She finished third in the race on June 23 and narrowly missed qualifying to compete for Team USA in the event.

“I was a little tired. I don’t want that to be a headline, that she had COVID at the Olympic Trials,” Weitzeil said. “I found out after I had tested positive for COVID after I got home. I think I had COVID at the meet.”

Weitzeil will compete in the women’s freestyle relay for Team USA at the Paris Olympics. She was fifth in the 100-meter freestyle final at the Olympic Trials. The top six finishers in the 100-meter freestyle race qualified for the relay team.

“I was going through a lot. I was really tired and I didn’t know why,” Weitzeil said.

Weitzeil set national records while on the Saugus High School swim team 12 years ago and has competed in the Summer Olympics for Team USA twice already.

She has won four Olympic medals — one gold, two silvers and one bronze — in two previous Summer Games. She won a gold medal as part of the medley relay team and a silver medal on the freestyle relay team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She won a silver and bronze medal on the freestyle and medley relay teams in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Weitzeil said this year’s Olympic Trials were emotional for her. She was happy for all the swimmers who made the team and she was sad when some of her teammates from previous teams failed to make it.

“I was crying happy tears, crying sad tears for people,” she said. “It was a great, great meet to watch and feel those happy emotions and also just a stressful time.

“It was hard but I’m super happy.”

Kate Douglass won the 100-meter freestyle final at the Olympic trials in 52.56 seconds. Torri Huske was second in 52.93 seconds. They will compete individually in the 100-meter freestyle at the Paris Olympics.

Gretchen Walsh was third in 53.13 seconds and Simone Manuel was fourth in 53.25 seconds.

Weitzeil was fifth in 53.70 seconds. The top five swimmers in the 100- meter freestyle were separated by 1.14 seconds.

In the 50-meter freestyle, Manuel won in 24.13 seconds. Walsh was second in 24.15 seconds. Weitzeil touched in third place in 24.26 seconds, 0.11 seconds behind Walsh.

Weitzeil won the 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021 before the Tokyo Olympics that were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said her approach to each Olympic Trials has been different. She went to her first Olympic Trials in 2012 before graduating from Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. In her junior year of high school, Weitzeil broke the national high school records in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events. She broke her own record in the 100-meter freestyle in her senior year.

But her high school success didn’t translate to Olympic success in her first trials. She didn’t qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, but she said it prepared her for future Olympic Trials.

“Every trials, I’ve come in with a different approach,” Weitzeil said.

She said her first time at the Olympic Trials, she was young, 15 years old, and wanted to go for the experience.

Her second time, in 2016, her goals were different.

“I was the girl with nothing to lose,” Weitzeil said. “I was the newbie out there, trying to make my first Olympic team.”

In 2021, it was a weird year for everyone, she said. The pandemic made all the athletes adjust their schedules and training. It complicated qualifying and competing at the Olympic Trials. She had one of her best meets, winning the 100-meter freestyle and qualifying individually. She also qualified for the 50-meter freestyle.

But competing in Tokyo was far from easy.

“There’s a little bit of pressure, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do what I’m expected to do, to do what I’ve done before,” she said.

She won a silver medal on the medley relay team and a bronze medal on the freestyle relay team in Tokyo.

In the individual events, she was eighth in the 100-meter freestyle and eighth in the 50-meter freestyle.

She holds the record in the 50-meter freestyle in the USA Swimming Championships in 24.00 seconds, set in 2023, and the course record at Lucas Oil Stadium, also set in 2023.

She had high expectations heading into the Olympic Trials for the Paris Summer Games and said she is embracing her new role on the team.

“I came into these finals with the same pressure — more pressure on myself — not from the outside world, expecting the best,” she said.

“I have a different role than I’m used to having on Team USA. I think I’m just grateful to be part of it.”

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