ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia Gator’s Olivia Bray’s talent in the pool is one of a kind.
The first time I saw her swim she was in the 8 and under program and she just flowed through the water," head coach Doug Fonder said. “That’s a very God-given natural thing, the ability to flow.”
The 18-year-old has come a long way since her swim coach Doug Fonder saw her swim for the first time.
"You never know at age 8, 10, 12 if they have the commitment to do it," he said.
But Bray had just that. At 14, she was swimming in the 2016 Olympic Trials. Then, a few months ago, she signed her letter of intent to swim for the Texas Longhorns in the fall.
“As soon as I went on campus, instantly I fell in love with it,” Bray said. “It was awesome. It’s just that feeling you get when you feel like you’re at home.”
She then decided to forgo her final semester in high school, graduate early, and train for her next big event- the 2020 Olympic Trials.
“It was December of 2018 when I made the first two trial cuts for this coming up Olympic Trials,” she said. “It was just pure joy because all the hard work, it pays off. It was just great.”