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Former Kentucky standout Ali Galyer eager to swim in 2021 Olympics

Ali's dream is to represent New Zealand in 2021.
Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 8:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Former Kentucky All-American swimmer Ali Galyer had her NCAA career cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the four-time 1st team All-American had to miss her final NCAA meet.

”If Covid did not happen, I was arguably in the best shape of my life before the NCAA’s,” said Galyer. “Yeah, I was super bummed, but it also gives you another year. I can learn a lot of things over the next year that can help me prepare.”

What Ali is preparing for is her dream to represent her country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which will be held in 2021, but this is where the story takes another unexpected twist.

”I have a very interesting background. Not many people can say they have four citizenships,” said Galyer.

Her mother was born in Canada, her father in New Zealand. Ali and her sister Danielle in Australia but then she moved to the U.S.

”I grew up knowing that if I was going to swim for a country, it was going to be for New Zealand,” said Galyer. “It wasn’t going to be for any of the other places going back there and going back there and swimming at the New Zealand opens just opened my eyes to the fact that I made the right decision.”

How do you train when all of the pools are closed due to Covid? You rely on a friend with a backyard pool. It’s a regulation pool, but it’s better than nothing.

”Here the pool is a little bit bigger. I just swim, so I just swim back-and-forth. I do makeshift workouts as much as I can. I still do a lot of cross training so this is not my only workout that I do.”

Before heading back to her U.S. hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, Ali got in a few laps.

Is there a gold medal in her future? Time will tell, but dreaming of hearing God Defend New Zealand would be a dream come true.

“I think for anyone in any country representing their country is the biggest honor you can have and I was super excited to do that for the past two years and I’ll be excited for it next summer.”

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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