Swimming sensation Nick Albiero is headed to the Olympics

Swimming sensation Nick Albiero is headed to the Olympics

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Nick Albiero moved to Brazil last summer so he could connect with his family’s roots and represent the South American nation in the Olympic Games.

Mission accomplished!

The standout swimmer qualified Wednesday for Paris 2024, breaking the Olympic index in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:55.52. He celebrated his accomplishment on social media, sharing praise from his alma mater, Louisville, as well as the Brazilian National Team.

Albiero holds dual citizenship for the United States and Brazil, though he was born in the U.S. His father, Albert Albiero, who coached him to great success at the University of Louisville, was born in Brazil.

While leaving Team USA was a difficult decision, Nick says he moved to Brazil so he could embrace his familial heritage.

“Joining the Brazilian Swimming Federation allows me to embrace my family heritage and pay tribute to my dad’s roots,” he said in a press release last summer.

“I’ve always had a sense of belonging in Brazil, visiting frequently and learning about the culture, and this decision feels like a part of who I am in my core. I am incredibly grateful for the support of my family and the opportunity to compete under the Brazilian flag.”

When he finished his swim Wednesday, he was visibly elated.

“My first personal best in 3 years and a ticket to Paris,” he wrote on Instagram. “I don’t have all the words quite yet. it’s been the hardest and most uncomfortable year of my life but the most rewarding. can’t thank you all enough for the love and support, especially my family.”

Albiero is one of the most decorated young swimmers competing, with 28 All-American honors, 12 national titles and two NCAA championships on his resume. During his senior season, he became the third male swimmer in Cardinal history to win an NCAA title after winning gold in the 200-meter butterfly.

The 25-year-old is also a five-time champ in a single event, a rare feat.

Like many visible LGBTQ+ athletes, Albiero says coming out was a turning point. His big announcement came in the form of an Instagram post with a simple caption: “Nick Albiero is out and about.”

Dressed in head-to-toe rainbow gear, his message was clear.

Going to Catholic school as a kid, Albiero says he repressed certain parts of himself. He wasn’t allowed to dress provocatively, and just wanted to blend in. He says the turning point came when he got into his first relationship, which prompted him to begin the coming out process.

The first person he told was Erica Sullivan, who won silver for Team USA at Tokyo 2020 and is one of the faces of LGBTQ+ Pride for Speedo.

“I feel less pressure,” Albiero told Team USA’s official website. “I know a whole community supports me regardless of the outcome in the pool. Now I represent more than my team; I represent a community. And I have more people in my corner than ever before.”

More than anything, Albiero wants to be a role model for other young queer athletes struggling to find themselves.

“The reason I came out was to show younger swimmers that you can still be an athlete whoever they are, whoever they like and whomever they identify as,” he added.

Since publicly coming out in June 2022, Albiero has been a new man. Just ask his sister, Gabi.

“I remember around the time when he was deciding to come out to everyone else, just the way his personality shifted,” she said in a joint interview with Nick. “You could almost see the outward transformation from this weight being lifted off of him, and he can be just be completely who he is.”

Speaking of Gabi, she’s an accomplished swimmer in her own right. During her senior season for Louisville, she helped steer the Cardinals to a second-place finish at the 2024 ACC Championships and a sixth place finish at the NCAA Championships. She also earned All-American honors in the 50 free, the 100 free, the 400 free relay and the 200 free relay.

It’s fair to say athletic excellence runs in the family. Brother and sister are quite close!

Since moving to Brazil last summer, it’s apparent that Nick has been living his best life. He’s been competing for his club team and also traveling the U.S.

And in just 2.5 months, Nick will be enjoying the sights and sounds of Paris. We can’t wait to cheer him on, regardless of which country he’s representing.

He’s a proud member of Team LGBTQ+, and that’s good enough for us!

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