Swimmers prep for Olympics at Bolles

Olympic trials begin Monday in Omaha

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Olympic Games begin next month in London, and one of the biggest sports people tune in to is swimming.

But as you're cheering on Team USA, you may also be rooting for people in your own backyard.

Some of the best swimmers in the world have been training at The Bolles School for the Olympics. They held one of their last practices Wednesday before the upcoming trials next week in Omaha, Neb.

It's something most of these swimmers have been dreaming about their entire lives -- representing their country in the Olympics -- and it all boils down to these trials.

IMAGES: Swimmers get ready for Olympic trials

Charlie Houchin, 24, dove in Wednesday for one of his last swims before the trials. He's one of 16 at Bolles vying to wear the Stars and Stripes in London.

"It wouldn't make or break who I am or anything like that, but it would certainly be the realization of a lot of hard work," Houchin said.

For nearly every event at trials, swimmers have to finish in the top two to make Team USA.

Ariana Kukors is hoping her world record in the 200 individual medley is enough to get her to the other side of the pond.

"It's a childhood pipe dream, it's the pinnacle of our sport, and it's something that I've wanted to achieve for a long time," Kukors said. "And to think that it's this close is crazy, but you know, I'm not trying to think about the Olympics. I can only control what I can do in that day, and I'm going to do the best I can and hope it's enough."

Two people in the pool can breathe a little easier than the others. They've already qualified for the Olympics for their countries. Bolles sophomore Joseph Schooling is swimming for Singapore.

"It's great representing my country at 17, and I hope I can do them proud this year," Schooling said.

Fabiola Molina, of Brazil, is participating in her third swim in the Olympics.

"I don't consider myself old, but I'm 37, and to be able to represent Brazil at the London Olympics for me is great, and I'm really proud to be trained at Bolles and be able to represent Bolles as well there," Molina said.

Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez Miro is also going to London to coach Singapore, but he said he'll be there to help all his swimmers.

"My job is to see these kids be successful," he said. "Whatever they do at the Olympics or at whatever level, they're going to transfer that into being doctors, lawyers, parents. So I think for me it's really neat to see that."

Right now they're focused on being swimmers, and the very best ones they can possibly be, to make themselves, their school, city and country proud.

"Wearing the American flag on your cap is a pretty special feeling," Houchin said. "So any time that opportunity presents itself, you want to take advantage of it."

Olympic trials last from Monday to July 2. The swimmers will know right away if they'll be representing their country in London later on this summer.

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