The race for gold for eight Gators swimmers begins July 24 when they trade in their orange and blue for the prestigious red, white and blue.
Former Gator and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Caeleb Dressel will swim the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly. He holds the world record in the 100-meter fly with a time of 49.50 and the American record in the 50-meter free at 21.04.
Powerhouse swimmer Kieran Smith takes the international stage July 24 and 25 and will race in the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle. He currently holds the SEC-record time of 1.29.48 in the 200-meter and claimed a spot in the 400-meter with a time of 3:44.86 during the Olympic Trials. Smith would take to the water again July 26 and 27 if he advances to both semifinals.
Senior Bobby Finke will also represent the Gators on Team USA as he begins his Olympic journey on July 27 and July 30, respectively, when he competes in the strenuous 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle, as he clocked in a 7:48.22 and 14:46.06 in the two events at the Olympic Trials. Should Finke qualify for the semifinals and finals of each event, he would compete again July 29 for the 800-meter and August 1 for the 1500-meter.
Veteran gator Natalie Hinds will swim for the US in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay after finishing fourth in the Olympic Trials in the 100-meter freestyle. She hits the pool July 24.
Gator representation in the Olympic pool extends beyond the United States to four other countries.
Florida swimmer Amro Al-Wir will swim for Jordan in the 200-meter breaststroke after meeting the minimum required time set by his country. His heat will compete July 27, with the semifinals taking place July 28 and finals July 29.
Current gator Eric Friese represents Germany in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay July 25 with finals scheduled for July 26. Friese boasted a personal-best 49.05 in the 100-meter freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series in California in March 2021.
Sophomore Alfonso Mestre will compete for Venezuela in the 800-meter freestyle July 27 and possibly July 29 for finals. Interestingly, he qualified in the event through competing in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the FINA A cut of the Caribbean Confederation Amateur Swimming Championship. He hit the mark in the 800-meter at 7:50.31, four seconds ahead of the minimum time. Mestre will compete with his brother Alberto Jr. of Stanford at the Olympics. Alberto Jr. will race in the 50-meter freestyle.
Former Gator Enzo Martinez-Scarpe will swim for Uruguay in the 50-meter freestyle. He is set to take the pool July 30, with finals August 1 should he advance.
The full schedule of events can be found here.
Contact Faith Buckley at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley.
Faith Buckley is a first-year journalism student at UF and The Alligator's swimming and diving beat writer. She is specializing in sports media to one day hopefully work as an NHL commentator.