Journey to Tokyo: Ashley Twichell

Japan 2020

There are 64 U.S. athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Ashley Twichell is one of them.

“I’m used to taking breaks from swimming,” said Twichell. “But not ones that are out of my control and when I don’t have any idea when I will be able to get back into a pool.”

Certainly before she gets into the Olympic pool in Japan.

But when that happens, Twichell will be 32 years old: the oldest U.S. Olympic rookie swimmer since 1908!

“I’m in full support of the decisions made and I’m glad that our global community’s health and safety has been made the No. 1 priority,” she said. “But at the same time, definitely disappointed. I have been working really hard and for a really long time to go to the Olympics.”

Ashley Twichell first tried qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. And then she tried again for London in 2012, and again for Rio in 2016. Despite being an all-American in both high school and in college, and winning five world championship medals, she failed to qualify all three times.

This time, she succeeded.

“When you’re working towards something so specific and you’ve had something in mind for so long, obviously the Olympics is only every four years so to have it pushed back a year, that’s really hard,” said Twichell. “And so, yeah just been checking in with people, grateful for the people who have checked in on me.

“Just trying to make the best of it and know we are all in this together and we’ll come out of it stronger.”

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