Bispo concludes Olympic Trials with family on hand
July 1, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- With Karlee Bispo swimming for a shot at the 2012 Olympics, her family took a vacation to Omaha to see her try and fulfill her dream.
"All of our swim meets we ever go to seem like our family vacations," said Karlee's father Frank Bispo. "This was one of those trips. We drove to Salt Lake City, Utah to pick up our daughter Kassie, who swims for BYU. Then we went to our son's (Brad) house in Denver and stayed the night. We spent a couple of days with him which was nice and then got back on I-80 to come here and watch Karlee."
Frank and wife Deanna left Modesto, Calif. with their two daughters, Kerra and Kaydence, to make the trek to Omaha for the week. With two kids at home, who are also swimmers, it is hard to travel to all of Karlee's events both financially and taking time off of work.
"We enjoy following our kids around the country to watch them swim," said Frank. "It is an adventure driving 26 hours in a car with three daughters and a wife, but this is our vacation and where we get our excitement from."
The Olympic Trials is one of the biggest swim events the recent UT swimmer has participated in during her illustrious career. Although Karlee was not happy about the outcome of her events her family enjoyed the chance to see her compete with the best swimmers in the United States.
"It is always great to see my family and have them in town to support me no matter what happens," said Karlee. "It is nice to be able to go to lunch and dinner with them between races."
The family also enjoyed watching Karlee swim, although it was stressful for her mother.
"It was exciting," said Karlee's mom Deanna. "We had to go out and get some air after she raced but it is exciting. I hope I was more nervous than she was. She looked relaxed and calm."
Karlee made the semifinals in both the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle events. She ended up 12th in the 200 free and ninth in the 100 free, just missing the finals of the 100 by one spot as the top eight advanced. She also swam the 50 free this morning and clocked a 25.88 for 33rd overall.
"I have only been training with Eddie (Reese) for a short time so I wasn't where I needed to be for trials," said Karlee. "I was happy with my 100 time but I would have liked to make the finals of course. The Olympics are always going to be a goal of mine."
Despite the fact that Bispo did not make the Olympic team, she did finish her Longhorns career as one of the most decorated swimmers in school history, earning 18 All-American honors and winning 18 Big 12 Championships. She was the 2011 Big 12 Swimmer of the Year and the Texas Women's Athlete of the Year in 2012. Not only did she accomplish a great deal in the pool but also a very good student as she is a two-time Academic All-American.
"She put Texas women's swimming first in her life the past four years," said Frank. "She is driven in the pool and in the classroom," said Frank. "She is very motivated. All of our kids have been great students so we can't take any credit for that. Karlee just wants to do her best in everything she does."
The results for Bispo are hard to fathom since she failed her first swim lesson.
"She took swim lessons when she was six and failed," said Deanna. "We wanted to advance her to the next level of lessons and the teacher said no because she had failed her class."
Although she failed her first lesson, Karlee put the dedication in to swimming that she showed all throughout her college career. She had dreams of making the Olympic team at an early age.
"She told her coach back when she was 11 or 12 years old that she wanted to make the Olympics someday," said Frank. "Her coach laughed at her but I didn't because she was serious about it. She is very humble and doesn't make too many comments like that."
While Bispo missed out on adding her name to the team this year she is still weighing her options for trying again in the future. She has one more semester of school left before she decides what is next for her.
Sunday, July 1