Bollier makes semis in 200 fly, just misses chance at Olympic trials finals

Bobby Bollier in 2014.
Bobby Bollier

Bobby Bollier showed on Tuesday that he remains among the elite swimmers in the country in his best event, the 200 meter butterfly. But his performance in the semifinals at the Olympic team trials in Omaha put him just outside a berth in today’s finals, meaning he won’t have a shot at a place on the Olympic team.

Bollier finished in tenth place at 1:57.43, just .33 seconds behind eighth place finisher Andrew Seliskar, who earned the last spot in today’s finals. Four years ago, Bollier just missed the chance to represent the U.S. at the Olympics in London when he came in third place behind Michael Phelps and Tyler Clary. Phelps came in first place in this year’s semis Tuesday, but Clary finished behind Bollier at 16th.

Bollier’s sister Anne-Marie took to Facebook to congratulate her brother on a remarkable career:

HUGE congratulations to my brother on a long and successful swimming career. 10th in the 200 fly at OT’s this year, a heartbreaking 3rd in 2012, and top 8 in 2008–who is capable of that consistency?! I know it would have been great to go out with a bang in Rio, but he’s accomplished so much even without qualifying for the Olympics. He’s competed on the US National Team, had a few victories in prelims and semis against Phelps over the years (how many people get to race him and win?!), traveled to faraway countries for meets, enjoyed sponsorship from Dolfin, and so much more.

From the early days at MHCC (Aquamoose!), to KCB, to Stanford and beyond, Bob’s commitment to this sport and loyalty to the teams he’s swum for has helped me understand what true dedication is in practice. It’s so different from having a conceptual understanding of what it takes to excel at sport; we all can wrap our heads around that to some extent, but it’s an entirely different thing to live it. I’m lucky to share genes (and strange inside jokes) with this super humble superhuman!