September 28, 2021

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

USA swimmer Drew Kibler, Carmel’s first Olympian

6 min read

Two days before the most important swimming meet of his life, Drew Kibler was too sick to get out of bed.

“I didn’t know if he was going to swim at all,” said his mother, Tracy.

It was a Saturday, and Kibler was supposed to swim preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials. His mother asked a friend to take Pedialyte to his Omaha hotel room to aid recovery. USA Swimming dispatched a doctor to see Kibler, who was diagnosed with a sinus infection.

On Sunday, Kibler felt better. On Monday, he qualified for the final. On Tuesday, he became Carmel’s first Olympic swimmer.

“It could have been a weird blessing in disguise because it took his mind off any jitters he might have had,” his mother said.

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The swimmer has acknowledged jitters. He has acknowledged search for balance.

This is what happens when the body weakens. The mind is strong enough to override it.

“Right now is the best I’ve ever seen him, body, mind and spirit,” Kibler’s mother said.

In finding such balance, Kibler finds himself in his first Olympics. Because there is reason to believe there will be another. The foundation he has built has become a starting block.

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