Editor's note: This story was written prior to the official swimming trials. According to Sporting News, Fail and Imbus fell short in the trials and did not qualify for the 2021 Olympic team.
While college sports are wrapping up for the summer, some athletes are entering their most rigorous weeks of training. Team USA is finalizing its swim roster after the Olympic trials and UA swimmers Brooks Fail and Christian Imbus have been invited to swim at the trials and perhaps with Team USA for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Fail is one of the best swimmers UA has ever had. Fail currently holds four of the ten all-time top finishes in school history. Fail also earned four All-American honors in four events and is a team captain. Representing the country is a great privilege, and Fail is just as proud to be representing UA at the swim trials.
“It is a great honor,” Fail said. “So many great people have gone to these meets and done incredible things and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.”
Imbus posted the second-fastest time in the 500 freestyle this year. Imbus is also savvy out of the pool, earning Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honors and CSCAA Scholar All-American Honorable Mention in 2018.
“I honestly never expected to be here in this position,” Imbus said. “I am honored to have made it and to represent the UA and those who came before us. I am very excited.”
UA is a school known for turning college swimmers into Olympians. In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, the Men’s 4x100 relay team from South Africa were all graduates from UA. With that level of training happening every day at UA, Imbus does not feel his routine has to change much to prepare for trials.
“I do not see the training any different [from the regular season,]” Imbus said. “It depends on what your mindset is. I just set my mind towards my goals.”
While the training may not be very different, Fail acknowledged that they would need a completely different mindset to be able to compete at this high level.
“It is just being the best version of yourself as you progress through the different races,” Fail said. “This meet has semi-finals, whereas in the collegiate season you just have preliminaries and then finals. This meet has preliminaries, semi-finals and finals. You have to adapt to the setup of the meet and just go with the flow.”
Fail has never been to Tokyo, so if Fail is fortunate enough to make it, he already has an idea of what he would want to do on his off days.
“I would definitely want to take everything in,” Fail said. “I want to explore the [Olympic] village a bit and meet other athletes because when you are surrounded only by swimmers you only learn things within your sport. I would like to expand, meet new people and see what it is they do.”
Imbus has never traveled outside of the country and if he were able to go, he would like to learn about what Japan as a nation is all about.
“It would be an eye-opening experience for me,” Imbus said. “It would be cool to experience a different culture outside of the United States.”
Fail and Imbus will compete at the Team USA Olympic Swim trials at CHI Health Center Omaha beginning on Sunday, June 13 in Omaha, Nebraska.
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