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Friends excited to cheer on Zach Harting, swimming for Team USA

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:05 PM CDT
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Olympian Zach Harting started his career at Dublin Park swimming for the Dolphins at age seven.

His coach at the time, Wade Thaxton, who is now the head coach for swimming at Bob Jones says he had the drive to win even then.

“When he was up there and they hit that buzzer, he was in that buzzer and he was going to do everything he can to win first place,” Thaxton said.

Rebekah Wieczorek swam alongside Harting, they competed all the way to high school at Bob Jones.

“There were definitely several people in our area who were, you know, signing stars who all stood out. There was a lot of talk when they were younger, that, ‘Oh these people might end up in the Olympics,’ and Zach’s name was always one of them that got tossed up,” she said.

But it’s not just his talent people speak fondly of, it’s also his humor and heart.

“I guess in the last Olympic trials, everybody remembered he dressed up as batman. That just shows the kind of person he is,” Thaxton said.

“One of just the most pure-hearted people I’ve ever met. I could not imagine a better person, more deserving whose really actually driven for it their whole life to finally get to pay off in this way,” Wieczorek said.

Fans are waiting to see if his signature yellow crocs make an appearance as well.

“I hope Zach, as well as the other Olympians, just enjoy it. They’ve done all the work, represent the USA, enjoy it because they deserve it,” Thaxton said.

Harting is competing in the 200-meter Butterfly Final. The Bob Jones High School alum finished with a time of 1:55.06 in his trial race to make Team USA for the 2021 Summer games.

Harting ranked 10th in the World and swam collegiately at the University of Louisville. Harting will also have the chance to reach the Olympics in the 100 Butterfly, and the 200 Individual Medley.

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