(WKBN) – The Tokyo Olympics ended last month, which brought lots of excitement. That doesn’t mean it’s too early to prepare for future games. One local group of swimmers has come a long way as they pursue their Olympic dreams.
Wednesday morning, a group of young swimmers was selected at Northside Pool to become a part of the Neptune Swim Team with hopes of becoming futures Olympians.
Five swimmers ages nine to 15 made the team.
They are very excited for the opportunity and love swimming.
“It’s fun and it gives me something to do,” said Khyree Carver, who is nine, and when asked if he was going to be a future Olympian one day, he added, “Yup.”
The idea came from Kevin Tarpley and Tom Gacse. They united to bring lifeguards and swimmers from Northside Pool onto the Neptune Team, which has two past Olympic medal winners, including gold medalist Melanie Valerio from Campbell.
“He said to me, ‘Boy, wouldn’t it be great if we can grow an Olympian from Youngstown? From somebody from the inner city?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that would be great!'” Tarpley said.
“We’re excited to have city school kids being involved, Youngstown city kids be involved in the Neptune Swim Team,” Gacse said.
Shawn Chrystal trained Northside Pool lifeguards this summer. She says the guards worked very hard to prepare for the Neptune Swim Team.
“I haven’t seen that much dedication in young people in so long, that it’s nice. It’s nice to see them,” Chrystal said.
Swimmers on the team will now begin their training.
The younger swimmers will join the Youngstown Lifeguard Academy when they turn 15.