Team UVA: Women’s Swimming Well-Represented on US Olympic Roster

June 24, 2024 By Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu

The four-time national champion University of Virginia women’s swimming program will be widely represented at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. 

The U.S. Olympic Swim Team Trials concluded over the weekend in Indianapolis with five Cavaliers – including two alumni – securing their spots on Team USA for the Paris Games.

That’s the most UVA representatives from swimming at a single Olympic Games and marks the fifth consecutive Olympics that at least one Wahoo women’s swimmer has been in the field. 

Current UVA student-athletes Alex Walsh (200-meter individual medley), Gretchen Walsh (50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 4x100-meter freestyle relay) and Emma Weber (100-meter breaststroke) will compete in a combined five events, while recent alumni Kate Douglass (200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley) and Paige Madden (400-meter freestyle, 800-meter freestyle and 4x200-meter freestyle relay) will compete in six more. 

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It's closer than you think. University of Virginia Northern Virginia
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UVA’s Todd DeSorbo, who has led the Wahoos to four straight national titles and was an assistant coach at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, will be the women’s head coach in Paris.

Alex Walsh, who along with Douglass and Madden competed and won medals at the 2020 Games, made the 2024 roster on her last attempt Saturday night, coming in second place in the 200-meter individual medley to Douglass. 

Walsh, speaking after the race to UVA alumna broadcaster Melissa Stark on NBC, acknowledged the unique reality of what’s ahead: She and her younger sister, Gretchen, will be competing together in the Olympics for the first time. 

“It means the world,” Alex Walsh said, later adding that she can’t wait to “live this dream that we’ve been dreaming for so long.”

 

Earlier in the trials, Gretchen Walsh, the reigning collegiate national women’s swimmer of the year, swam the 100-meter butterfly race in a world-record time of 55.18 seconds. Douglass, a four-time All-American at Virginia, won all three of her events in Indy. 

Hoos Also Going to Paris 

Joining the Wahoo swimmers in Paris will be a pair of former Cavalier tennis players. 

Danielle Collins and Emma Navarro were recently named to Team USA by the U.S. Tennis Association, becoming the first players in UVA program history to be on an Olympic tennis roster. 

Collins, a two-time NCAA singles champion at UVA, is currently ranked as the No. 11 player in the world. In her final year on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, she’s won two tournaments. 

Navarro, the 2021 NCAA singles national champion, is the No. 17 player in the world. She won her first WTA event, the Hobart International, in January. 

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