Q&A With Swimmer Emma Weyant

Todays News

Photo courtesy of USA Swimming

It’s triumphant enough to have one local—formerly, or currently—go to the Olympics to represent Team USA. But to have four? Four outstanding athletes that hold roots to the (941) that are heading to Tokyo to make their mark on history? Now that’s impressive, medal coming home or not. From Women’s Swimming and Women’s Air Rifle to Men’s Rowing and Men’s Street Skateboarding, we'll be celebrating the young talented squad of Sarasotans that have qualified in their respective sport and whom we await excitedly to watch on our televisions this weekend as the Olympics kick-off and air worldwide.

While you may have read/seen local news stories of their victories, we're rolling out daily personal, candid Q&A style interviews—based on the famous Proust Questionnaire. Before putting on your red, white and blue outfits to cheer them on through the screen, get to know each of the athletes beyond their sport and what they're most looking forward to competing in the Games. Queue the flame. 

Emma Weyant 

Age: 19

Hometown: Sarasota 

Current City: Sarasota 

Competing Olympic Sport: Women's Swimming, 400m IM

Beginnings: Began swimming competitively in Sarasota at age 9. 

Titles: 2018 Junior Pan Pac Champion, 2019 National Champion, 2021 Olympic Trial Champion, 4A state champion

Share a brief description of a recent day in the life…  Currently, I am at an Olympic training camp in Hawaii with the rest of the Team USA swimmers. Every morning we wake up and eat breakfast together before heading over to our first pool workout. Getting to train with the best swimmers in the country creates the coolest environment where everyone around you is working hard and supporting each other. After practice, we visit the weight room where we get in our strength training and dryland workouts. Then, after a quick nap, we go back to the pool for the second practice of the day. The second workout of the day usually consists of stroke and technique work as well as resistance training for me.  We all eat dinner together as a team and end the night with a team meeting and Team USA cheer. 

What are you most excited about going to the Olympics/representing Team USA? I’m so excited to have the honor to wear the flag on my cap and compete with the best in the world. The culture of Team USA is like no other and I can’t wait to have more experiences being a part of it. 

Your favorite motto . . . “I’m not defined by what I achieve, but by whom I am loved.” Someone shared this quote with me a couple of years ago and it has always stuck with me. Being an athlete, there are inherent pressures to achieve at the highest levels, but at the end of the day, no matter the outcome, having a team and family and supporters behind you that love you and are proud of you no matter what, make every race and result worth it.  

Your guilty pleasure . . . Chocolate. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the biggest Hershey’s fan there is. 

Your favorite heroes . . . My mom. Without her, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. She’s the most selfless and strong person I know. 

Your last supper would include . . . Any type of bread and pasta. Noodles and Company is my favorite during a swim meet. 

Athlete/Coach you admire the most and look up to . . . My current coach, Brent Arckey. I’m so incredibly grateful for everything he has done for me over the years. Coach Brent pushed me to be my best every day and gave me the confidence to believe that no goal is unattainable.  

What was the funniest thing you remember doing as a kid? I grew up the oldest of four girls, so my sisters and I were always together having fun and keeping ourselves entertained whether it be in the pool or driving around or even just making each other laugh.  

Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button in your life? I would say a pause button. I think it’s hard sometimes to stop and appreciate where you are and what you have done to get to where you are. I would say that I am a fairly goal-oriented person, so in the past, after reaching one goal it was always natural to have my next move be adjusting my goals and getting back to work.  

Your favorite snacks of the moment are . . .  I love Triscuits. They’re super easy to eat in between races or take with me wherever I go.

What song best describes your life right now?  “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift. Being an Olympian and getting to compete in the Olympics has always been a dream of mine and I’m just so excited to live out those dreams and perform at my best for Team USA. 

If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere else, where would you be? After my race at Olympic trials, I walked off the pool deck and all my teammates and coaches were standing there and gave me the biggest hugs. It was all just super emotional and I’m so grateful I got to share that moment with them. It was one that I will never forget and one that I replay in my head all the time. 

Your greatest fear. . .  Needles and blood, which might be a slight issue if I plan on getting the Olympic Rings tattooed haha

What do you consider the most underrated virtue? Trust. Trusting in yourself, in your coaches, in your teammates, and in your journey. My coach's mantra is, “Trust the process.” This means that when you put your trust in your coaches and their plan, you will get the results you want in the long run.  

Where you most like to live . . . I know that I want to be somewhere close to my family and close to the water. 

On the plane, you’ll be. . . listening to Taylor Swift. She’s been my favorite since I was 8 years old. So I can honestly just put her entire discography on shuffle and I’ll be happy. 

What are you most excited to see or try whilst in Tokyo? I’m really excited to get to live in the athlete village and be surrounded by the best athletes from all over the world.  

What is your most memorable or cherished moment whilst competing? Touching the wall at Olympic trials and realizing that I had become an Olympian. The last 50 meters of the race was all that was running through my mind, so touching the wall and hearing my name announced as an Olympian was the most surreal experience ever. 

Which sport in the Olympics are you most excited to go watch as a spectator? I would probably say gymnastics. There are so many talented women who dominate the podium every Olympic Games. 

Your favorite Opening/Closing Ceremony or performance watching previous Olympic Games? My favorite moment from the last Olympics to watch was definitely the medal ceremonies. Seeing athletes stand on the podium as their national anthem plays is the most amazing thing that still gives me chills just thinking about it.  

Where will your winning medal(s) hang when you get back? If I get the opportunity to win a medal for Team USA, I will definitely be keeping them hanging in Sarasota to share with my family and my teammates. 

Tune in Sunday, July 25, starting at 6:00am EDT to watch Emma Weyant compete in Women's 400m heat. 

Photo courtesy of USA Swimming

Full Olympic Swimming Schedule here.

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