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Local swimmer becomes first US athlete to qualify for Olympics

Updated July 16, 2023 - 9:58 am

Las Vegan Katie Grimes, who swims for the Sandpipers of Nevada, became the first U.S. individual athlete in any sport to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris on Saturday.

Grimes, 17, finished third in the 10-kilometer open-water race at the world swimming championships in Fukuoka, Japan, to qualify for next summer’s games.

Grimes competed at the 2020 Olympics — actually held in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic — as the youngest member of the U.S. team at 15 years old. She finished fourth in the 800-meter freestyle.

At the U.S swimming championships last month in Indianapolis, Grimes won the 400 individual medley (4 minutes, 33.80 seconds) and finished second to seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in the 1,500 freestyle (15:58.34).

Grimes will also participate in the 400 IM and 1,500 at the world championships. She won silver medals in those events at the 2022 world championships.

Fellow Sandpipers Claire Weinstein and 2020 Olympic silver medalist Bella Sims are also competing at the world championships for the U.S. Santiago Gutierrez, a male swimmer for the Sandpipers, is representing Mexico at the world championships.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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