You might say it was a “golden” opportunity for Geist resident and Hawthorns Country Club swim coach Joel Elbert who took a break from his poolside duties to take a shot at the Olympics this summer. Joel was invited to swim at the Olympic trials in Omaha; and although he didn’t make it to the Olympics, he enjoyed the experience and feels honored to have been given the chance!
“It was great,” says Joel with a smile as he recalls his few days in Omaha. “It was a high energy, high intensity environment for several days in a row,” says Joel. “There were laser lights, cheering crowds, music, and fireworks!”
Joel says the times are so close in the trials that most are just seconds or tenths of a second away from making it to the Olympics. “They are just all such good swimmers,” says Joel. “I didn’t have real high expectations due to a shoulder injury that has slowed me down over the past few months,” says Joel. “But I’m just glad I got to go and experience it all.”
Elbert says he loves the sport of swimming because it is all about what you put into it. “There is no lucky shot before the buzzer or a lucky goal, it is just how hard you want to work at it!”
The summer swim team is over now, but Joel is still swimming. The 24-year-old physiology major from The Ohio State University has taken on a new role as coach at the Southeastern Swim Club and Masters coach at SSC (an adult swim program) this fall.