Olivia Carter recently traveled to Naples, Italy for the 2019 World University Games. Submitted Photo

By Matt de Simone

Contributing writer

Olivia Carter, granddaughter of the late Dale and Gloria Carter of Buchanan, continues to make waves in pools both nationally and internationally.

Following an impressive performance at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Swimming and Diving Championships, the SEC (Southeastern Conference) named Carter the 2019 Freshman Swimmer of the Year. Plus, the SEC selected Carter for a spot on the 2019 All-SEC first team.

Although the honors are a big deal, Carter remains focused on her game and not on the accolades. “I was pretty surprised but honored to receive the awards,” Carter said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know they existed!”

Recently, Carter returned to the US following a commendable showing at the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy. After cementing a spot in the Women’s 200m Butterfly Finals, Carter finished second overall on the final day of competition posting an impressive time of 2:09.05— falling short of the winner, fellow Georgia Bulldog Dakota Luther, by just over a second.

This was certainly not Carter’s first time swimming in international waters. Last year, she traveled to Fiji for the US National Junior Swim Team. This wasn’t her first time in Italy either. A few years ago, Carter traveled there with her family on vacation.

Although there is much to see in the Italian countryside, Carter remained focused on her swimming and who she was representing while enjoying new sights and sounds.

“Because I was in Italy for a high-level competition, I did not get to do much exploring, unfortunately. That being said, I still managed to tour a castle near the cruise ship where the athletes were staying. I took some lovely pictures so it was definitely a worthwhile experience,” Carter explained. “In the pool, I can recall one super-memorable moment. It was right before the 200m fly finals on the last night of competition during the walkout. The announcer called out my name and that I was representing the United States of America. The feeling of representing such a powerhouse country like the USA is a surreal feeling.”

Carter’s no where near finished with swimming in 2019. She heads to Palo Alto, Calif. for the USA Swimming National Championships held from July 31 through August 4. Following that meet, it’s Georgia Bulldogs swimming until she prepares for the 2020 Olympic Trials next spring.