Valley swimmer headed to Olympics

Arizona Sports News online

Swimmer Breeja Larson is on her way to the 2012 Olympic Games later this month in London. Not bad for someone who didn’t even care for the sport growing up in Mesa.

“If feel like I didn’t like it because my sister was better at it than me,” Larson told Brad Cesmat Tuesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “Once I had my first club coach my senior year of high school, he taught me to love the sport. I can’t imagine giving it up.”

Especially after the former Mountain View High star, now Texas A&M sophomore upset world champion Rebecca Sonni to win the 100-meter breaststroke at the Olympic swimming trials last week in Omaha, Nebraska.

Larson credits her success at the trials to being in a good mental state going into the competition.

“You have to force yourself to tell your mind, your soul, and your body, ‘I can do this,’ she explained to Cesmat. “I’m going to go out there and I’m going to swim my fastest and it will be good enough. If you have doubt then you start making excuses. I didn’t want any doubts.”

Her life has gotten crazier since qualifying for the team, especially on social media as the 20-year old says she’s received plenty of friend requests, including some former and present swimmers. She says she’s overwhelmed by the support she’s received from family, friends, and even strangers who have approached her with kind words of encouragement heading into the London Games.

Larson believes she may go into coaching following her swimming career, but is intrigued by the communications field, as well.

The opening ceremonies will be held July 27 with swimming competition starting on the 28th.

 

 

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.