TOKYO (BRPROUD.com) – Brooks Curry made LSU history in the 2021 Olympics, but Tokyo was not where the Georgia native realized his dreams. The sophomore swimmer had his kodak moment in Omaha, where he qualified for the summer games, and his coaches were overcome with emotoins.
“When I saw that number four just pop up, my body went kind of numb. when he made the team. I cried. I walked outside. I facetimed Steve (Mellor) right away, and he and I both had probably equal amount of tears rolling down our faces,” former LSU swimming and diving head coach Dave Geyer said.
“We had about a 30-second moment, where we got to really tell one another we did it. In front of 10,000 people, it felt like it was just he and I in front of that room, experiencing that moment,” Mellor, who was with Curry in the Omaha qualifiers, said.
Mellor and Geyer became key parts in Curry’s growth, both in the water and as a person. The 20-year-old, record setter needed time to mature into the athlete he has become.
“His freshman year he’d oversleep and miss some practices. We gave him the rope of knowing that’s where he was still developmentally. I think this past year he missed once, and he came in and had that ‘oh crap’ look on his face,”” Geyer added.
LSU’s discipline paid off. Curry ended his sophomore year as the first Tiger in program history to earn All-American honors in three different events, and when the Olympic qualifiers were closing in, curry improved drastically.
“I’ve been around world-class swimming for probably 15 years now. He was doing one or two tings where I would just look at the stopwatch, and look at him, and look back at the stopwatch and be like ‘okay that’s real. This is happening,'” Mellor reminisced.
What happened became LSU history. Curry even went ahead of schedule for his personal goals. The swimmer was aiming for his Olympic debut in 2024, but even after winning gold this year, he has even more motivation for the next summer games.
“I know he didn’t like watching that relay. If there’s anything that’s going to make him hungry, he wants to be on that relay at night. He doesn’t want to be handed a medal. He wants to put it around his neck on the podium,” Geyer said.
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