Meet Las Vegan Katie Grimes—the first US athlete to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris

Katie Grimes, left, of the United States, celebrates with teammate Katie Ledecky, following their heat of the women's 800-meter freestyle at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

By Aleza Freeman

July 21, 2023

The Silver State’s own Katie Grimes is swimming for Olympic Gold once again.

The first US individual athlete to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris next summer, Grimes, 17, scored her coveted spot on the US team after clinching third place at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan in July.

Still reeling from her bronze win in the 10-kilometer open-water race at the world championship, the Las Vegas resident (who swims for Sandpipers Nevada) shared an emotional Instagram post:

“I am beyond grateful to have qualified for my second Olympic Games. I am still in such shock. It is such an honor to earn bronze 🥉for USA. Dream come true 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Thank you to everyone for the support and all of the kind messages.”

Sandpipers of Nevada also had a message to share about the swimmer on Instagram:

“Smile Katie Grimes: You are the first American named to the 2024 Olympic Team! With her 🥉 finish in the 10K, Katie punched her ticket to Paris next summer and will represent the red, white & blue for the second time on the sport’s biggest stage. Congratulations Katie, we are beyond proud of you 🥹.”

Grimes is currently the seventh-fastest swimmer in the world, according to Swimming World Magazine. Last month, she finished second only  to seven-time Olympic Gold medalist Katie Ledecky in the 1,500 freestyle at the US swimming championships in Indianapolis.

Ledecky called Grimes “the future of swimming,” coining the term “Katie-squared,” when referring to herself and Grimes to the press at the 2020 games. 

Only 15 years old at the time, Grimes was the youngest member of the US Olympic Team. She placed in fourth, a photo finish, within seconds of the silver and bronze medalists.

Now Grimes gets a second chance to compete in the world’s foremost sports competition—and this local swimming sensation hasn’t even graduated from high school yet.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | SPORTS

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