Bronze Medal Swimmer, Kate Douglass, Class of ’19, Talks to The Pel Mel


On the winner’s podium, Douglass can hardly believe her dream has come true.

Jack Tirsch, News Editor, Senior

Class of 2019 alumna and current University of Virginia junior Kate Douglass added to her already impressive résumé by swimming in the Tokyo Olympics. Douglass qualified for the finals in the 200-meter Individual Medley swim ultimately taking home a bronze medal.

Earlier this year, Douglass also contributed to the University of Virginia’s first ever NCAA Swimming and Diving Title, where she set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle.

Douglass said, “This past summer was such an amazing experience. I don’t think I’ve fully processed everything. It was crazy to experience for myself things I’ve only ever seen on TV or social media, like living in the Olympic Village or watching swimming stars who I’ve looked up to, win gold medals.”

Douglass recounted the new friendships she made with other USA athletes.

“My favorite part of my Olympic experience is probably living in the village with all my friends. I got closer with the girls I knew already and also made a lot of new friends. On the last two nights, we all went down to this lawn in the village and talked to swimmers from other countries. It was cool to hang out with swimming stars from other countries who I never thought I could become friends with.”

Douglass is now readjusting to her old college lifestyle at UVA.

“It is a little different now that people know who I am here. Sometimes at football games or when I am out at restaurants, people ask for photos with me. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that.”

Douglass returned to Pelham for a brief visit, stopping by the Pelham Country Club and the New York Athletic Club at Travers Island to meet with young swimmers.

The 2024 Paris Games are just three years away and Douglass has already positioned herself to be a top competitor in multiple events. The soon-to-be 20-year-old has many more Olympic races ahead of her, but as of now, she is just trying to focus on her final years at UVA.