BRYAN, Texas -- She may now be old enough to have a drivers license but Julia Cook is about to be on one of the biggest swimming stages in the world. Cook will compete in the 100 meter backstroke on Monday and the 200 meter backstroke on Friday at the US Olympic Trials. It's quite an accomplishment for a young athlete that has already put in a lot of work.
"I really had to compromise a lot of my social life," said Julia Cook. "I couldn't go out to the movies with my friends at night because I had practice the next morning really early so it just consisted of practice everyday twice a day and going in doing dry land or weight trainings."
The work began when Cook began swimming at the age of nine after being inspired by the 2008 Summer Olympics.
"There were a couple of young people on that team and I was like wow that is a really fun experience. You can go to this exotic place and represent the U.S. and make everyone proud back in the U.S. and I wanted to do that," added Cook.
The road to this year's summer games in Rio go through Omaha where Cook will have a chance to swim in a big time venue that will be a different experience.
"This is actually in an arena with thousands of other people watching and I have only really swam in places like this where there is just one side of spectators and it's not one hundred percent full ever so usually I do pretty well at blocking out the people but under the big lights in Omaha it's going to be intense," continued Cook.
Cook seems to have a pretty good handle of what lies ahead this week and she has her own expectations of what success will be at the Olympic Trials.
"My approach going into trials this time is just to get a personal best in all the events I am going to be swimming and possibly make it to semifinals. I am not really looking at anything big placing wise I just want to make it personally for myself a good meet," concluded Cook.
When Cook returns to school next year she will have quite a story to tell when someone asks what do you do during summer vacation. Depending on what happens this week the story could include a trip to the Olympics.