Stark Truth: Update on Olympic Swimmer Emily Silver

Will Emily Silver swim in the 400-meter freestyle relay prelims in Beijing on Saturday?

You’d think a fifth-place finish in the 100m free at the U.S. Olympic Trials would guarantee her a spot on the team, but she has to prove to team coaches that she’s 100 percent after breaking her hand during the semifinals of the 50 freestyle at the trials in Omaha, Neb. Father Bob Silver reported on his blog – From Bainbridge to Beijing – that Emily has to swim a time trial on Thursday in Beijing. Talk about pressure.

 “She’s a little nervous about it — she has to swim the time trial by herself and the coaches will evaluate her readiness based on her time,” wrote Bob. “Send some good thoughts her way for her swim.”

I talked to Emily following her surgery last month at Palo Alto, Calif., and despite missing a couple weeks of training, she seemed confident that she would be OK for the prelims.

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” she said. “I know I’m ready to go.”

This is the third time she broke her hand hitting the wall. The last time she did it, she bounced back to swim really fast legs at the World University Games in 2007, helping the U.S. win gold and silver medals in relays.

The 2004 Bainbridge High grad thrives in relays. 

“When you’re on relays you’re part of this group of women and you’re doing everything in your ability to be great for them,” she said. “You’re swimming not only for your country and yoru team watching on the side of the pool, but you want to be great for the teammates you’re swimming with. You know they’re going to give everything and you want to do the same. It’s really thrilling … there’s nothing like it.”

You can read more about Silver and Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian, who will swim a leg on the men’s 400 freestyle relay this weekend, in our print editions. The story on Adrian, by staff writer Annette Griffus, is scheduled to run Thursday. My Silver story will be in Friday’s editions.

And be sure to check out the photos our award-winning photographer, Larry Steagall, will be sending from Beijing. We’ve been fortunate to have a photographer like Larry on our staff. He’ll be shooting for the newspapers in the Scripps Howard organization of which the Kitsap Sun is part of.

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