LAKEVILLE, Minn. — Editor's Note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on June 15, 2021.
Olympic swimmer and Lakeville native Regan Smith is gearing up to take her career in the pool to the next level, and hopefully to Paris in 2024.
Smith announced Tuesday that after spending a year at Stanford University, she's decided to become a professional swimmer and will move to Tempe, Arizona to train with Coach Bob Bowman.
“After spending a substantial part of the last two years on my mental game, it’s time to focus on increasing my training intensity. I’m entirely confident that Bob’s leadership and training will have me exactly where I want to be for Paris 2024. I believe that, in the long run, this is the best way for me to continue to develop as an athlete," Smith said in a statement.
"At this time, I am postponing my college degree to maximize my athletic competitive window and could not be more excited for this journey," she added.
Bowman currently serves as head coach of the women's swimming and diving team at Arizona State University, and was the longtime coach of decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. He was tapped as the men's coach for Team USA at the 2016 Rio games, and was the assistant coach at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, 2008 games in Beijing and 2012 in London.
“Regan is a special athlete, and I look forward to helping her work towards her goals in the coming years," Bowman said in a press release. "She has a clear picture of where she wants to go and how to get there."
Smith, now 20 years old, won three medals in at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020: Bronze in the 100m backstroke, silver in the 200m butterfly and silver as part of the women's 4x100m medley relay team.
She also holds a backstroke world record and won gold at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships.
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