Rachel Grant has a dream of swimming in the 2012 Olympic Games — for Hong Kong.
the BYU swimmer was born of a Chinese mother and an American father in
Hong Kong. Though she only lived there for a short while after her
birth, she has dual passports and dual citizenship, leaving her fully
credited to swim for the team from her other country.
course, before she decides if she has enough oomph left to train for a
year on her own for the next Olympics, Grant is happily training and
competing in the water for the BYU Cougars.
Her specialties are the butterfly and the individual medley, and she says midrange distances are her forte.
has plenty of victories this year for the Cougars and has been named
Mountain West Conference swimmer of the week twice. She was the only
Cougar to qualify last season for the NCAA nationals as a sophomore,
and she hopes to peak at the right time to yet again find herself
swimming in the national championships.
rather have members of her team there with her though, and the team is
working hard to peak for the Mountain West Conference championships in
"We try to peak for
conference, we wear our fast suits and go for the national cuts then,"
said Grant, who, along with her teammates, practices about 20 hours a
week, leaving her muscles feeling like putty much of the time. And
every time the group leaves the pool they run right to food after
discussing cravings throughout practice.
BYU women's team finds itself in first place in the MWC this season
with a 7-0 record and only one meet remaining, against in-state rival
"All of us have done really well. The freshmen have helped a lot with points and energy and have contributed a lot," said Grant.
to BYU was the first time Grant really felt a part of a team despite
swimming since she was six and swimming competitively since she was
"I love the support of a team. Our motto this year is 'For Each Other,'" she noted.
the junior now craves that team support and the support of the coaches
so much that she's a little concerned she won't meet her goal of
competing in the Olympics for Hong Kong. She's been competing for the
Hong Kong club teams for three years now as just out of high school the
opportunity came around for her to try out for the Olympics in 2008.
didn't make it to the Olympics, but she was chosen for the National
Team World University Games last year in Serbia and did well
considering she hadn't been training long course.
heads over to Hong Kong every summer to train, but she's not sure if
she wants to fight her way through a year of training for an Olympic
berth after graduating from BYU in a year.
"It's definitely a goal that's constantly in my mind. We'll see where I am in my life then," she said.
Grant's specialty is what many consider the most difficult of the four
disciplines, she has always been natural with the butterfly.
while she's not all that fond of the breast stroke and considers it her
weakest event, she's able to compete in individual medley because
"after the fly I'm able to do the breast stroke for some reason."
she started competing the IM at the age of 13, she never thought it was
her best event, but it was the only event she qualified in for the
junior Olympics. Grant's top three events are the 200 meter butterfly,
the 200 meter individual medley and the 400 meter individual medley,
but she often swims in off-events for the Cougars just like all of the
other swimmers on the team do.Grant hopes to combine her passion for
swimming with a degree in psychology to establish a career as a marine
life trainer, which will leave her in the water with dolphins and
whales at a place like Sea World.
my dream job. It wouldn't just be a job, it would also be my passion,"
she said, noting she'll need to work an internship for a year, and
she's hoping to find one at Sea World.
But if the lifelong animal lover can't make it as a marine life trainer, she has some great ideas for designing swimsuits.
she has some family members coming up in the swimming ranks, as she and
all three of her sisters love the water. But the one thing she doesn't
like, that wouldn't be a problem if she swam with the dolphins in San
Diego, is the snow and cold.
"My hair seriously turns into icicles and gets all crunchy when I go outside," she said.