(Nation Now) – American swimmer Sierra Schmidt has a fairly straightforward problem as she approaches the pool ahead of a big Olympic competition.
She can get a little nervous.
So, before her 1,500-meter swim qualifying race on Wednesday night, she embarked on one of her favorite moves – dance.
“It’s a way for me to deal with the kind of nerves right before I swim,” Schmidt told NewsNation’s Aaron Nolan. “It’s a way for me to focus and it’s also a dynamic warm-up.”
This last point has appeared in some reactions on social networks. Even broadcast advertisers have mentioned that she could drain her energy with the intensity with which she dances before races.
“I need to increase my heart rate before entering the water,” explains Schmidt. “What’s really cool about swimming is you can have people who prefer not to talk and really focus and then you have people who want to talk to everyone and socialize. You have people who kick their muscles to wake them up. Mine is a bit more unique I would say.
She said Wednesday’s dance was to K-Pop Twice’s song “Cheer Up”. She told NewsNation that she has 36 dances in her repertoire.
“This is something I work on before meetings and make sure you know it’s not too taxing and if I have to change things, I change things,” she said. . “I try to keep things interesting and fresh in terms of, you know, doing different dances.”
Schmidt did not qualify for one of the two spots on the US 1,500-meter team, but said it was special to be part of the race’s very first race at the Olympic Trials.
“I think we were all truly honored to have had this incredible opportunity,” she said. “And I think that’s why the event gave us as much as we could because we wanted to make sure it was going to be an unforgettable event.”
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