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Gabrielle Rose proves age is just a number as she competes in US swim trials at 46

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Gabrielle Rose proves age is just a number as she competes in US swim trials at 46
Sport

Sport

Gabrielle Rose proves age is just a number as she competes in US swim trials at 46

2024-06-17 09:08 Last Updated At:09:10

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gabrielle Rose is realistic about her goals. She knows a third Olympics is out of reach.

That's OK.

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Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gabrielle Rose is realistic about her goals. She knows a third Olympics is out of reach.

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after winning her heat the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after winning her heat the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose pauses before the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose pauses before the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

This time, she's swimming for an even higher cause.

At the age of 46, Rose is by far the oldest athlete at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials — earning her place among more than 1,000 entrants exactly two decades removed from her last appearance.

“I’m just hoping to show people you can do more, you’re capable of doing more,” said Rose, who represented her native Brazil at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the U.S. at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

“You can have more energy, you can have more strength than you thought was possible," she went on, the passion building in her voice. "I want women in particular to not be afraid to be strong, to lift weights, to take care of themselves and just know that they can have a lot more in the older chapters of their lives.”

Rose is an anomaly at the trials, to be sure, but hardly looks out of place.

Competing in the heats of the 100-meter breaststroke, against seven swimmers who were all less than half her age, Rose glided to the wall first Sunday in a personal-best of 1 minute, 8.43 seconds — the first time she's broken the 1:09 barrier.

She finished with the 11th-fastest time overall in the preliminaries, advancing to an improbable spot in the evening semifinals.

“That was my big stretch goal,” Rose said, still beaming more than an hour after she climbed from the temporary pool in Lucas Oil Stadium. “I was really, really nervous because I just wanted to have the swim that I thought I was capable of. It came out this morning, so I’m really, really pleased.”

She went even faster in the semifinals, but her time of 1:08.32 was 10th overall — two spots away from qualifying for the final Monday.

Swimming is a young person's pursuit, to be sure, but a handful of athletes at the U.S. trials are defying the odds.

There's 39-year-old Matt Grevers, a four-time Olympic gold medalist who got the itch to swim again when he heard the trials were being held in the home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. He started training and managed to hit the qualifying time in the 50 freestyle.

There's 35-year-old Brandon Fischer, who has never made it to the Olympics but can brag that he's matched Michael Phelps by competing in the U.S. Olympic trials for the fifth time. The Californian is swimming the 100 and 200 breaststroke in Indy.

“I still have aspirations to be an amazing, great Olympian, like all these other great Olympians we've seen throughout history who left their mark,” Fischer said. “At the same time, you have to pull back. You know this is the fifth time. You're just grateful to be here.”

After failing to make the U.S. team at the 2004 trials, it appeared that Rose's competitive swimming career was largely over. She got into coaching, became a mother and focused on the less-stressful Masters circuit to stoke her competitive fires.

Last year, after surprising herself by setting a personal best at the Masters spring nationals, she decided to make another run at the Olympic trials.

“I wasn’t expecting to have a lifetime best at 45,” Rose said. “So I’m like, ‘Let’s see what’s possible.’ It happens to line up with the Olympic year and Olympic trials. I’ve absolutely loved going back to my roots as a professional athlete and just knowing that this is like a special time in my life, just to see what I’m capable of."

More than she ever could've imagined, it turned out.

When she spotted her time on the scoreboard, her face broke into a huge smile. The crowd of more than 17,000, which included her 10-year-old daughter Annie, recognized what an extraordinary moment it was, serenading her with an immediate standing ovation — and then another as she walked across the deck.

Its wasn't her third Olympics, but it sure felt like it.

Among those who finished behind Rose were Sarah Bennetts, who just completed her freshman year at UCLA.

“It's crazy that she can race that fast," Bennetts said. “When I’m 46, I’ll probably be sitting on the couch watching the Olympic trials.”

Fischer, who was bullied as a child and felt out of place in the rigid, demanding world of his younger swimming days, rediscovered his love of the sport as he moved into his 30s.

He says his times now are faster than ever, even as he juggles swimming with his job at the secretive Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The Masters circuit — which he had once brushed off as nothing more than a bunch of washed-up old-timers — turned out to be perfectly suited to his philosophical, inquisitive personality.

“The culture is very different," Fischer said. ”The people are all adults. They all have jobs. They all have marriages, have kids, have careers. They just want to go swim in the morning, have some fun, and go to the bar afterward."

For Rose, the chance to compete at one more trials came along at a perfect point in her life.

But she knows it's just a diversion.

She has one more event, the 200-meter breaststroke.

Her plans after that?

“I've got to get back to real life,” she said, breaking into another grin.

AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose swims during the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after winning her heat the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose reacts after winning her heat the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gabrielle Rose pauses before the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabrielle Rose pauses before the Women's 100 breaststroke preliminary heat Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Donald Trump's campaign chiefs designed the Republican convention opening this week to feature a softer and more optimistic message, focusing on themes that would help a divisive leader expand his appeal among moderate voters and people of color.

Then came the shooting that rattled the foundation of American politics.

Suddenly, the Democrats’ turmoil after the debate, the GOP’s potential governing agenda and even Trump’s criminal convictions became secondary to concerns about political violence and the country's stability. The presumptive Republican nominee and his allies will face the nation during their four-day convention in Milwaukee unquestionably united and ready to “fight,” as the bloodied Trump cried out Saturday while Secret Service agents at his Pennsylvania rally rushed him to safety.

Anger and anxiety are coursing through the party, even as many top Republicans call for calm and a lowering of tensions.

Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran in the GOP presidential primary, has distinguished himself as one of the more aggressive voices on the right, saying often that the country is already at war with itself. So it was notable that in remarks at an event run by the conservative Heritage Institute at the RNC on Monday he was toning down his rhetoric and urging the country to come together.

“The enemy is not the Democrats, it is an ideology,” Ramaswamy told the crowd at Heritage’s “Policy Fest” event.

GOP Sen. Steve Daines, the chair of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, said at a Politico event at the RNC on Monday that the party needs to focus on policy and not divisive politics in the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting.

“This is a moment, as we say, that the temperature needs to be brought down,” the Montana lawmaker said. “What needs to be litigated for the American people in the next three and a half months should be more policy and not personalities.”

On Monday, hours before the first convention session, some well-timed good news for Trump got the day off to a positive start for him and his party. The federal judge presiding over Trump's classified documents case dismissed the prosecution because of concerns over the appointment of the prosecutor who brought the case, handing the former president a major court victory.

Trump posted on his Truth Social platform to call for the dismissal of his other legal cases.

“As we move forward in Uniting our Nation after the horrific events on Saturday, this dismissal of the Lawless Indictment in Florida should be just the first step, followed quickly by the dismissal of ALL the Witch Hunts,” he wrote, listing several cases.

Meanwhile, Trump is expected to announce his vice presidential pick on the first day of the Republican National Convention, he said in an interview.

It remains unclear whether the shooting Saturday at his Pennsylvania rally has changed the former president’s thinking about his potential second-in-command. But he told Fox News Channel host Bret Baier in a call that he planned to make his pick Monday.

In an interview Sunday, Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley said the convention’s programming wouldn't be changed after the shooting. The agenda, he said, will feature more than 100 speakers overwhelmingly focused on kitchen table issues and Trump’s plans to lift everyday working Americans.

“We have to be able to lay out a vision for where we want to take this country," he said.

Whatley said the central message would have little to do with President Joe Biden’s political struggles, Trump’s grievances about the 2020 election or the ex-president’s promises to exact retribution against political enemies.

“We are going to have the convention that we have been planning for the last 18 months," he said. "We are a combination of relieved and grateful that the president is going to be here and is going to accept the nomination.”

Beyond voting to formally give Trump the nomination, elected delegates from across the nation will update the GOP’s policy platform for the first time since 2016. The scaled-down platform proposal — just 16 pages with limited specifics on key issues, including abortion — reflects a desire by the Trump campaign to avoid giving Democrats more material on a key campaign issue.

The platform approved by a committee last week doesn't include an explicit call for a national abortion ban, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended a federally guaranteed right to abortion.

“More divisiveness would not be healthy,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

As Trump prepares to announce his choice for vice president, his top three contenders are North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Ohio Sen. JD Vance and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, all expected to speak this week.

Despite a contentious primary season, any lingering tensions appear to have been set aside.

Former rivals Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, are expected to speak at the convention on Trump’s behalf.

There will be reminders of Trump’s record in a speaking program that includes a handful of Republicans charged with crimes related to other political violence — the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who's in jail on contempt of Congress charges, is expected to speak at the convention just hours after his release. He was found guilty in September after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Capitol attack.

Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald, who was indicted of criminal charges related to his involvement in a scheme to present fake electors who would overturn Biden's victory over Trump, plans to present the former president with the party nomination at the convention. A judge dismissed the case against McDonald last month over a venue dispute.

Trump has repeatedly cast the people involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including his many supporters who stormed the Capitol, as political prisoners.

For now, Democrats have scaled back their plans to offer a competing message during the Republican convention.

The Biden campaign over the weekend pulled down its campaign ads. Vice President Kamala Harris postponed a Tuesday appearance in Florida set to focus on Trump’s opposition to abortion rights. And the pro-Democratic group American Bridge is delaying the scheduled Monday release of faux trading cards designed to highlight controversial policy positions of Trump and other leading Republicans.

The convention, coming less than four months before Election Day, is taking place in heavily Democratic Milwaukee, the largest city in a pivotal swing state Trump lost by less than 1 percentage point four years ago.

Even before the assassination attempt, major protests were expected, although movement will be severely restricted as part of enhanced security precautions established by the Secret Service.

Still, the risk of violent confrontation exists.

Security officials previously announced that people just outside the Secret Service perimeter would be allowed to carry guns openly or concealed as permitted by state law. Wisconsin statutes outlaw only machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and silencers.

Associated Press writer Christine Fernando reported from Chicago. AP writers Thomas Beaumont in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, and Ali Swenson in Minneapolis contributed.

A worker carries a chair during perperations for the Republican National Convention Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A worker carries a chair during perperations for the Republican National Convention Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Law enforcement officers stand in an aisle at the 2024 Republican National Convention inside the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Law enforcement officers stand in an aisle at the 2024 Republican National Convention inside the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala. is seen during the Republican National Convention Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala. is seen during the Republican National Convention Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

A color guard comprised of veterans rehearses ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A color guard comprised of veterans rehearses ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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