KNOXVILLE (WATE) – East Tennessee swimmer Claire Donahue is currently training for her second round of Olympic trials in three weeks.
Last time she was in this position four years ago, she fulfilled her life-long dream of going to the Olympics. This time, she’s hoping to do it again.
“I was 10 when I told my parents and coach I wanted to go to the Olympics,” said Donahue.
As any supportive parent would do, they smiled and nodded, not knowing she would someday do just that.
“I’ve always been passionate about swimming,” said Donahue. “I’ve always been very motivated, and I started to basically enjoy it more. That’s what it came down to.”
Growing up in Lenior City, Donahue ate, slept — and when she came up for air — breathed swimming from the age of 6. It wasn’t until college when her dream of going to the Olympics finally became a reality.
“That’s when I really started seeing myself in the Olympics,” she said.
In 2011 she placed second at nationals, qualifying her for a spot on Team USA.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl, and then to have that come true, such a high goal, I think is very rare and very special. You represent your college team being able to do that is awesome, but being able to represent like an entire country is huge.”
Donahue definitely made the most of her time while in London, winning a gold medal for the 4×100 medley relay race.
“You know you’re at the Olympics and you’re competing and then you get a gold medal on top of all of that for your country,” said Donahue. “It was, it was unreal.”
However, Donahue is not done competing quite yet.
“Once you make the team it’s like an addiction almost it’s like, ‘oh my gosh I have to do this again.'”
Right now, she’s preparing for Olympic trials in three weeks where she’s vying for one of two spots to go to Rio.
“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to come down to who’s having the best race that moment,” she said.