(NewsNation Now) — American swimmer Sierra Schmidt has a pretty relatable problem as she approaches the pool before a big Olympic meet.
She can get a little nervous.
So, before her qualifying race in the 1,500 meter swim Wednesday night, she went to one of her go-to moves – dancing.
“It’s a way for me to cope with kind of the nerves right before I swim,” Schmidt told NewsNation’s Aaron Nolan. “It’s a way for me to focus and it’s actually a dynamic warm up as well.”
That last point has come up in some of the reaction on social media. Even the broadcast announcers mentioned that she might be draining her energy with how intensely she dances before races.
“I need to get my heart rate up before I get in the water,” Schmidt reasons. “That’s the really cool thing about swimming is that you can have people who prefer not to talk and really focus and then you have some people that want to talk to everyone and socialize. You have people who kind of slap their muscles to wake them up. Mine is a little bit more unique, I would say.”
She said Wednesday’s dance was to the song “Cheer Up” from the K-Pop group Twice. She told NewsNation she has 36 dances in her repertoire.
“It’s something that I work on prior to meetings and make sure that you know it’s not too taxing and if I need to modify things then I modify things,” she said. “I try to keep things interesting and fresh in terms of you know, doing different dances.”
Schmidt didn’t qualify for one of the two spots on the U.S. 1,500 meter team, but she said being part of the first ever running of that race at the Olympic trials was special.
“I think all of us were just really honored that we got this amazing opportunity,” she said. “And I think that’s why the the event we gave as much as we could because we wanted to make sure that this would be an event to remember.”