Michael Chadwick’s story should inspire any young athlete who ever sat on the bench instead of starting, or who finished last in a race.
When Chadwick was 13, he joined SwimMAC Carolina.
Charlotte’s largest swimming club has many levels, and Chadwick started in the slowest group.
Year by year, he began to improve – and this week, the rising junior at Missouri surged into the sport’s top tier.
Chadwick, 20, won the 100-meter freestyle on Sunday at the Speedo Sectionals in Athens, Ga. His time of 48.87 seconds – more than a second faster than his previous best time – is the second-fastest by an American this year.
That has suddenly made a berth on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team a real possibility.
“In 2012 I didn’t even have a trials cut,” Chadwick said. “And now I’m a contender for 2016. That’s pretty incredible.”
To qualify, Chadwick must be among the top two finishers at Olympic trials next summer. The top six qualifiers make the team and can compete in relays.
Chadwick is a Charlotte Latin graduate. His father, the Rev. David Chadwick, is pastor at Forest Hills Church.
Chadwick says training with Team Elite, the club’s group of professional and Olympic hopefuls, including Ryan Lochte, has only increased his confidence.
Coach David Marsh said Chadwick’s recent improvement is the result of a “perfect storm of progress,” a combination of desire, talent and training at a high level.