Seward shows support for Lydia Jacoby ahead of the Olympics

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 11:02 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Lydia Jacoby is the first Alaskan ever to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team and currently holds the world’s second fastest time in the 100-meter women’s breaststroke.

To say that the city of Seward supports Jacoby would be an understatement. Signs and banners are plastered everywhere you look around Seward, the home of the 17-year-old swimmer. As we near closer and closer to the opening ceremonies of the 2020 Olympic games, the community is preparing to see their swimmer in action.

“Everybody’s so excited, so jacked up the town is abuzz,” said Solomon D’Amico, co-head coach of the Seward Tsunami Swim Club. “If you’re able to find some locals and ask them about Lydia, they’re just going to be just a wash with pride and like just super, super jacked up.”

The buzz has been hanging around the town ever since Jacoby qualified for the Olympic trials back in November 2020. The postponement of the trials due to the pandemic threw a wrench in everyone’s plans, but Jacoby and her coaching staff chose to use that wrench and fine-tune her game.

“We have done two true like six week stretch cycles and it’s been pretty awesome to see like your time just drop down. So that married up with like, really awesome training environment in Anchorage,” D’Amico said.

Meghan A O’Leary is the other co-head coach of the swim club. D’Amico said that the pair works quite well together because he can focus on strength while she focuses on the technique.

Jacoby also had the opportunity to come to Anchorage and train with the Northern Lights Swim Club amid the pandemic — everything combining to get Jacoby to where she is now, making history.

“Everybody is buzzing with excitement, even people that don’t even know Lydia have something on their green house or their barn or in their windows it is something you can feel here it is palpable and people are constantly asking us in the shop what it is about so we are proud that we can showcase her” said Ranting Raven Owner Ann Sieminski.

The Ranting Raven is just one of the dozens of businesses with a “Go Lydia Go” sign hanging in their window. Everyone is eager to talk about Jacoby and how excited they are to see her in action.

“We are all for it. We can’t wait. My wife and I have actually been looking at Google every day checking on the updates on the Olympics and everything, so we can’t wait to see her swim,” said A.J. Seese, the owner of Sweet Darlings.

The excitement of the event is spreading throughout the city, from those who don’t really follow swimming to those who are heavily involved on getting Jacoby to where she is.

“At the end of the day, this is her first Olympics. She is from a small town and I think she is going to do awesome. I am most excited to see her reaction; it is so cool to watch people surprise themselves,” said Myriah R. Ariza-Balter, volunteer coach for the Tsunami Swim Club.

A community watch party is going to be held at the Dale R. Lindsey Alaska Railroad Intermodal Terminal for all of Jacoby’s races. July 25 is when the preliminaries of the 100-meter breaststroke will be held and the finals will take place on July 26.

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