She may have missed the start of her senior swim season with her Waubonsie Valley teammates, but Alyssa Gialamas’ trip to Montreal was “well worth it.”
The former Paralympian, now 18, took home a bronze medal as part of the 200 medley relay team at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada. She returned from the competition early Monday morning.
“I was so excited. It was definitely something I’ll never forget,” Gialamas said from her Naperville home Monday night. The International Paralympic Committee hosts the world swimming event every four years.
“We had the 200 free relay first and we just got out-touched for the bronze (in that event),” she said. “So we knew (going for the medley) that everyone had their different strengths.”
In the 200 medley relay, Gialamas swam backstroke. She also placed fourth in the 200-meter individual free, fourth in a 200-meter free relay and fifth in the 50-meter backstroke.
Gialamas was one of the 34 elite swimmers chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Then-sophomore Gialamas finished fifth, the top American, in the women’s 200-meter freestyle after breaking the U.S. record by 2 seconds to qualify for finals.
On Monday, she said she’s looking forward to her next Paralympics bid in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“In London, I definitely got thrown into it,” Gialamas said of her first Paralympics trip. “(Swimming in Montreal) allowed me to focus on what I need to do for Rio.”