Island swimmer reaches Olympic dreams


Bainbridge native Emily Silver earned herself a spot on the U.S. Olympic squad Friday.

Read Annette Griffus’ story below.

Silver’s Olympic Dream Likely to Become Reality
By Annette Griffus

When Emily Silver was in the fourth grade, a school assignment asked her to write down her goals.

The Bainbridge Island native wrote down “I am going to be an Olympian.”

That dream became reality Friday when Silver finished fifth in the 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swim trials in Omaha, Neb.

“Unbelievable. We are so happy for Emily,” her father, Bob Silver, said by phone. “She wanted this forever. Her dream has come true.”

Silver has not been officially added to the team. The top four finishers in the 100 free automatically qualify for the Beijing Olympics. USA swimming usually adds the fifth- and sixth-place swimmers to the team to help out with the freestyle relays. Silver is expected to be named to the team in the coming days.

Dara Torres, 41, won the event in 53.78 seconds (see related story on Page B5) and Natalie Coughlin was second at 53.83. Silver swam it in 54.91.

Silver had one of the fastest starts from the block and was in fourth after the first 50 in 25.92.

At that point, Bob Silver thought he saw his youngest daughter’s dreams crumbling before his eyes.

“At the 75 (meters), I actually was convinced she was going to be seventh,” he said.

Silver put her head down and pushed her way through to the end to claim her first Olympic berth.

Silver became the fourth swimmer from Kitsap County to qualify for the Olympics. Bremerton’s Tara and Dana Kirk qualified together in 2004 and Nathan Adrian, also of Bremerton, qualified Thursday night in the 100 free.

Adrian made strides Friday in making the Olympics in an another event. Adrian qualified for today’s finals in the 50 free. Adrian was the fourth-fastest qualifier in the morning prelims at 22.05. In the evening semifinals, he finished seventh in 22.03. The finish put Adrian in the outside lanes, a spot he prefers.

Adrian must finish first or second today to qualify in the event.

Emily’s mother, Mary Sue, said she spoke with Dana Kirk on Thursday.

“Yesterday I saw Dana and she said ‘We got the train rolling,'” Mary Sue Silver said. “‘We’ve got Nathan on board, we’ve got the Kitsap express and we’re going to Bainbridge to pick up Emily and go to Beijing.'”



What: Women’s 50 free prelims; men’s 50 freestyle finals

Local angle: Emily Silver is back in the water in the 50 free prelims while Nathan Adrian, already an Olympian, looks to qualify for an individual final in the 50.

Prelims at

TV: Ch. 5 Time: 8 p.m. (tape delayed)

On the Web: Follow the action at