North Shore native Conor Dwyer is headed to the Olympics, to represent the United States, and his hometown of Winnetka, in London later this month.
Dwyer, 23, a Loyola Academy graduate, took second place in the 400-meter freestyle event June 25 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. That placement qualified him for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, along with 47 others who vied for the coveted honor.
“It was unbelievable after the 400; it was a lot of emotion and it was hard for me to put it into words, I’ve put so much work in over the last 11 months,” Dwyer said. “It was breathtaking.”
Dwyer also placed third in the 200-meter individual medley (IM) and fourth in the 200-meter freestyle events during the 10-day trials that ended July 2.
The U.S. Olympic Swim Team, including Dwyer, flew out to Knoxville, Tenn., on July 3, for an eight-day training camp.
From there, the team heads to Vichy, France for another week of training before touching down in London for opening ceremonies July 27.
The very next day, Dwyer will be competing for the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle event.
“I’m looking to represent the U.S. and all of those who have supported me through the years very well, and dominate that event. It should be a lot of fun,” Dwyer said.
A member of the Lake Forest Swim Club, Dwyer also will compete in the 800-meter freestyle relay July 31.
Dwyer is joined by his college swim coach, Gregg Troy, who also is the U.S. Olympic Team coach.
“Having (Troy) with me takes some of the pressure off, since he knows me so well already,” Dwyer said.
Since graduating from the University of Florida in 2011, Dwyer’s main focus has been to become an Olympian, through regimented training and preparing.
“It’s been so much work and sacrifice, but now I really see what an honor this is-this will always be one of the best weeks of my life,” Dwyer said.
Swimming in the Genes
His mother, Jeanne, who taught Dwyer to swim as a toddler, was an All-American swimmer herself and was on the Florida State University swim team.
She is, not surprisingly, exceedingly proud of her son.
“Conor has sacrificed so much, he missed family events and so many other things for training through all these years,” Jeanne said.
“He’s been so focused, and it all paid off for him, and I am just so thrilled for him,” she said.
The entire family, including his parents, twin brother Spencer and three younger siblings will be heading to London in time for the opening ceremonies.
Thirty additional family members from around the country, according to Jeanne, plan to be at the Olympics to support Dwyer as well.
“We will be a force there, supporting Conor,” Jeanne said.
Reflecting on the entire experience before flying off to begin his olympic training, Dwyer said his goal is a simple one.
"I will do my best, not only in competing, but to represent Winnetka and the U.S., I want to make everyone that believed in me, proud,” Dwyer said.