By Emily Sampl
Jimmy Feigen’s dream of competing at the Olympic Games began at age five, and
now, with the Olympic Trials just days away, he has a chance to make the dream a
“Now that the opportunity is so close, I almost don’t even know what to expect,”
he said. “I expect to swim faster than I have ever swam before, I expect to make
the race hurt more than it ever has, and I hope that it will be enough to make the
Feigen’s four-year journey at the University of Texas has been instrumental in
setting him up to achieve his lifelong dream. A decorated sprinter and national
record-holder coming out of high school, Feigen arrived in Austin as one of the top
recruits in the country and only got better. He closed out his collegiate career in
March with two NCAA titles in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, along with more
than a dozen All-American honors and Big 12 titles.
With Trials falling only three months after the conclusion of the collegiate season,
the Texas swimmers did not rest as much as usual for NCAAs, all in hopes of
performing their best at Trials.
“It was without a doubt the hardest year of training I have ever been through in
my life! Ultimately, the Olympics come around only once every four years, and
we’ve been working and training to give ourselves the best possible chance to be
successful at the Trials,” he said. “The entire UT athletic department has been totally
supportive of us during this trying time. They give us all the tools necessary to be
successful, and its up to us to use them.”
Despite the tight schedule between NCAA's and Olympic Trials and his own Olympic
aspirations, Feigen did not feel that redshirting the season would be the best option.
“I made a promise to my class and my teammates to stick around, considering our
team was going to be extremely talented,” he said. “In the end, I’m happy with the
decision. I’m glad I was able to finish my eligibility in four years and have such a
great shot to represent the USA.”
Feigen has an excellent chance to make the team in both the 50m and 100m
freestyles; he’s seeded third in the 50m at 22.03 and fifth in the 100m at 48.63. The
top two swimmers make the team in the 50m free, while the top six are selected in
the 100m for relay purposes.
After a decorated college career and winning three medals at last summer’s World
University Games (gold in the 100m free and 4x100m free relay and silver in the
4x100m medley relay), he certainly has the experience and speed to get the job
done in Omaha.