ARLINGTON, Va. (7News) — Every athlete has a dream, a goal.
For Arlington native Torri Huske, that dream was to make the U.S. Olympic Team.
Last week at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, it happened. At just 18-years-old, a recent high school graduate of Yorktown high school, Tori shattered the American record in the 100-meter butterfly, winning the event and booking her ticket to the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
In her first on-camera interview since returning from Omaha, Torri talked with 7News sports anchor Scott Abraham about her incredible journey to the Olympic Games.
“At first it was very overwhelming, I feel like it’s just so unbelievable that this would happen to me of all people," Huske told Abraham. "Up until like a year and a half ago, I never thought this would be possible. It’s unbelievable.”
Abraham profiled Huske just a couple of years ago in our Rising Star series. She was good then, but even better now. Huske could be the future of USA swimming for many years to come. This is just step number one and already she's starting to visualize bringing home an Olympic medal.
“A little bit, this is all still new to me that I haven’t really thought that much about the Olympics yet. I feel like I’m still processing that I’m going at all," Huske said. "I think pretty short term, like right now, I’m just so excited about all the gear that I got. Walking into that room was like a warehouse.”
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Sometimes you forget, Huske is still a teenager that has been thrown onto the national stage. She will soon be representing the United States on the biggest stage of sport, something she has a lot of pride in.
“It’s just so incredible. I’m also really excited to get my name on a cap, with a flag on it. I’ve never had that before," Huske said. "It’s so cool and so exciting and new. I think it’s so special. It’s a big honor. It’s really surreal this whole thing.”
Over the last several years, Huske has competed all across the DMV. Starting in a young age, she swam in the well-known Northern Virginia Swimming League and led Yorktown to the Virginia 6A state team title.
Huske had mentors, role models. Swimmers that she wanted to be like. Now, the roles are reversed. Everybody in the region has become a part of "Team Torri."
“I never thought I would be in this position and it’s really weird to think that some little kid looks up to you, Huske said. "It’s really cool if you can inspire someone to keep swimming or just get them excited about the sport because you never know who they are going to become.”
ALSO READ: Arlington swimmer sets new US record in 100m butterfly at Olympic trials
Torri will be a contender to win gold in Tokyo and with that comes pressure. She wants to enjoy everything that comes with being an Olympian for the first time. But she also knows this will be a business trip as well.
Huske will have a massive support system back home in the D.C. area. Young swimmers glued to the television watching her every stroke, wondering if one day they can be an Olympian just like Torri.
“Just know especially the young swimmers, I was never good when I was young. I feel like if you learn to like the sport and if you work hard and practice the little things, it can happen to anyone," Huske said. "I never thought it would happen to me and it did. Don’t be afraid to dream, just know it can happen to anyone as long as you dedicate yourself and you work hard.”
The opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Summer Olympics are set for Friday, July 23.