By Chase Bayless ’15 & J.P. Hajjar ’16
Swimmer Jack Blake ’17 officially acquired dual citizenship in Spain with the hopes that he will compete for the country’s swim team in the upcoming Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
As a frequent visitor of the country and whose mother was born there, Blake said he felt comfortable with his decision and liked his chances of making the team.
“I knew I wouldn’t make the U.S. team since I would be competing against 27 year olds,” he said. “So I decided to swim for Spain so I could swim in Rio in 2016.”
Swimming head coach Mr. Pat O’Neill said he likes Blake’s chances at making the team in his best race, the 50-meter freestyle.
“He is one of the top 50 freestyle sprinters in state so he has a valid chance to make their national team,” Mr. O’Neill said.
Blake plans on going to Spain for nationals June 29 of this year and then again in March of 2016 for the Spanish open. His times at these events will decide whether or not he will qualify for the Olympics.
“I’ve always thought about doing it but now that it is happening it is really exciting,” Blake said.
Mr. O’Neill said that by 2020 Blake may be able to swim for the U.S. team, but for 2016 the Spanish team is his best shot.
At this point, he said he doesn’t really have goals to medal, but just wants the chance to take part in the Olympics.
With his mother being from Barcelona, Blake has technically always had dual citizenship, but it has just recently become official.
He said Spain is definitely is a meaningful place to him.
If Blake were to make it, he would be in the second semester of his junior year when he competes.
This would mark the first time a swimmer would be partaking in the Olympics while still a student at Brophy.