McClellan Talks About Team USA Experience

From the UW-Milwaukee Sports Information Department:

Q&A with swimmer Emily McClellan following the World University Games

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Emily McClellan

Emily McClellan

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee swimmer and 2010 Delavan-Darien High School Graduate Emily McClellan returned home from the World University Games with a bronze medal after an impressive showing against some of the world’s top competitors. After nearly two weeks overseas with Team USA, here are a few of the Panther standout’s thoughts from her trip.

Q: Obviously you did very well but from your perspective, how did everything go for your swims over there?

EM: The swims were good! I was hoping to drop some time but I’m happy with how I did. I gained a lot more experience from traveling and competing. I feel that swimming was only half of the whole experience. Even if I swam bad, I still would’ve had the time of my life. I’ve never been on the other side of the world and had to learn how to adjust schedules and time zones. It was fun and even though it affects how you swim, I think that I adjusted well and learned a lot from my swims and coaches.

Q: What was going through your head when they announced your name and you walked out to the starting blocks wearing the Team USA colors?

EM: It felt so amazing to walk around the village and the deck wearing your country’s colors. I wore a cap with our flag and my name on it and that was a dream come true within itself. Then to have my teammates chanting “USA!!” and waving American flags, it just sends chills. I couldn’t help but smile and get excited to swim.

Q: What were some of the memorable sights or different things you did over there??

EM: I didn’t have much time to explore the city because we spent most of the time at the pool, but I did get to explore a little bit outside of the village. I went to a market and it was different to not be able to read signs or labels and to have a language barrier, but it was a learning experience and I tried to take the most out of the whole trip.

Something that the athletes, coaches, and volunteers do around the village is trading pins and clothes. Our sponsors gave us t-shirts and warm ups that we wore for competition but when we were done competing we were allowed to swap clothes and barter with other athletes for their team wear. This was really fun as it gave me a chance to meet other athletes from other countries. I ended up trading a t-shirt for an Ireland soccer jersey and our team backpack for the team Russia backpack.

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