17-Year-Old Cary Olympian Earns Silver in Swimming

Cary, NC — Adding to the list of USA athletes bringing home an Olympic medal is 17-year-old Claire Curzan, a swimmer and resident of Cary.

Claire is a 17-year-old swimmer and a rising senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School who trains at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. In three seasons at Cardinal Gibbons, Curzan has won six state championships and has been named the MVP of the championship meet twice. She was named Girls Swimmer of the Year at the High School OT Honors.

She’s one of the youngest athletes to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games and has set a record as the fastest female swimmer, aged 18 and under, in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.51.

It was in the Olympic qualifiers in June that Curzan’s ticket for Tokyo became official as she earned her spot in the 100-meter butterfly race. She made it to the semi-final race where she finished with a time of 57.42, landing her in 10th place and out of the running for the finals and a shot at a medal individually.

What ended up gaining her the silver medal was getting a spot in the 4×100 Women’s Medley preliminaries where she swam the butterfly leg for the team. It was her performance in the prelims that ended up securing her a medal because swimmers who compete in the preliminaries but not in the finals still earn the medal, but do not participate in the ceremony.

In the final, it was down to her USA teammates Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby, Torri Huske and Abbey Weitzeil. These women finished just 0.13 seconds behind the gold medalists from Australia, earning them and Curzan as well, the silver medal.

Story by Ashley Kairis. Photos by Jack Spitser and the Triangle Aquatic Center Facebook Page.

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