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'I'm so proud to be American': Olympic swimmer Regan Smith says it 'never gets old' to represent the United States
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

'I'm so proud to be American': Olympic swimmer Regan Smith says it 'never gets old' to represent the United States

Smith is a three-time Olympic medalist.

American swimmer Regan Smith showed a tremendous amount of national pride after setting the world record for the 100-meter backstroke.

The Olympic silver medalist set two personal bests at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Indianapolis en route to qualifying for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. She dominated the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, along with the 200-meter fly event.

The 22-year-old, who said she wears her heart on her sleeve, may be one of the most prideful athletes heading into the summer games.

"I am such a patriotic girl. I love America so much. I am such an American girl to my core, seriously," she said in a recent interview.

Looking ahead to wearing the team USA swimming cap and uniform, the swimmer described herself as "unbelievably" proud and said representing the country is special every time.

"It never gets old, truly. Each summer when I've gotten to put the American flag cap on my head and represent it, I am so unbelievably proud. And every time I'm able to stand on top of a podium and put my hand on my heart and hear the national anthem play over the entire aquatic center, it's very special. It never gets old."

'I wasn't just swimming for me; I was swimming for the entire country behind me.'

Smith has already had an incredible amount of success while representing the United States at such a young age.

She won gold at the 2019 World Championships in the 200-meter backstroke and the 4x100-meter medley at just 17 years old.

At the 2020 Olympics, Smith took home two silver medals and one bronze.

She won another two gold medals at the 2022 World Championships and one gold, three silver, and one bronze at the 2023 World Championships.

"I would say it kind of gains importance and value each time that it happens for me," she told Fox News. "This summer is going to be no different. I'm just going to be so unbelievably excited to put that cap on and go overseas and represent the best country in the history of the world, I'd say. And it's just — it's wonderful. It's really, really wonderful. And I'm so proud to be American every time that I compete for my country," Smith continued.

The world champion recalled the first time she represented the country when she was 15 and said that the opportunity almost brought her to tears.

"I had such a strong sense of pride, and I was getting up behind the blocks, and I wasn't just swimming for me; I was swimming for the entire country behind me, who had my back and who wanted me to succeed."

The Lakeville, Minnesota, native said that she loves swimming for something "so much bigger than yourself," adding that the desire to make her country proud actually takes some of the pressure off of performing.

Swimming competitions at the 2024 Paris Olympics begin on July 27.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →