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Dolfin’s Pros Tucker Dupree, Michelle Konkoly and Roy Perkins medaled multiple times at the Rio test event held at the end of April in Brazil. This competition was a test run at the newly built Aquatic Stadium for the Paralympic Games and an exciting opportunity for athletes to preview the venue and get a feel for the pool before it becomes the world’s biggest athletic stage.
The pool itself has 18,000 fan seats, 10 lanes, 50 by 25 meters in length and width with a depth of 3 meters. Although there is a roof, the mesh cage around it provides for open air flow. The wave-like mural outside the aquatic center will also be a big visual attraction in the Olympic park. Michelle explained, “It was really good for me to see it all in a relatively low stress environment. It’s gonna help keep me calm come September.”
The highly competitive meet attracted over 200 world class athletes, giving the Pros the chance to evaluate where their racing is at now that the Games are only four months away. Despite being broken down from heavy training, they still landed on the podium multiple times. Highlights for the Dolfin Pros include Tucker winning gold in the 50 free and 100 back, Michelle swimming to silver in the 50 and 100 free and Roy earning a gold in the 100 free and bronze in the 50 free.
Michelle said, “It’s tough to swim at a venue like that and not put up the times you hope to put up in a few months. We have to remember we’re in the middle of our hardest block of training, so it’s good to have something to work toward.” The Rio swims also served as a confidence booster of exciting things to come once our athletes are tapered. Tucker added, “We weren’t rested, but we could say that when we are, we can showcase all of our hard work.”
The Paralympic Swimming Trials will take place from June 30 – July 2, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Games will begin September 7, 2016. We can’t wait to see our Pros in action!
Article by Meredith Roberts