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Blake Pieroni continues training for delayed Tokyo Olympics

Blake Pieroni continues training for delayed Tokyo Olympics


The Region's Olympic gold-medal swimmer will have to wait another year to compete in the Tokyo Games.

Chesterton graduate Blake Pieroni won gold by swimming the third leg of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, qualifying USA first for the finals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. The quartet of Calaeb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian finished the deal to win the gold medal.

He will have to wait in an attempt to defend that title as the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m sure he’s a little bit disappointed but I’m sure he’s going to continue his quest to move forward. That’s the kind of kid he is," said Kevin Kinel, Pieroni's high school coach. "So many colleges and high school kids haven’t been able to practice at all. They’ve got no water to go to at all, so it really would not have been best to have Olympic trials and then the Olympics."

Gov. Holcomb recommends Hoosiers 'hunker down' for next two weeks

Regardless of the Olympic committee's decision, and the stay-home orders from Gov. Eric Holcomb, a world-class athlete has to stay in elite shape. Pieroni was at Hoosier Crossfit in Bloomington on Tuesday wearing a 20-pound weighted vest while running one mile, doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats, he shared on Instagram.

“Blake is a positive kid, and he’s certainly a tenacious kid," Kinel said. "So, I don’t think that’s going to change his mindset at all.”

Pieroni developed his swimming skills at Indiana. He was co-Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten, and that was just the beginning of a standout career. He earned five All-American honors as a sophomore, five as a junior and seven as a senior.

In his final year, he broke the NCAA, U.S. Open and American records by swimming a 1:29.63 to lead off Indiana's 800m freestyle relay at the NCAA Championships. He became the first human to break the 1:30 mark in the 200 freestyle, according to SwimSwam.

Pieroni led Chesterton to state titles in 2013 and 2014. He was a three-time state champion in the 100-yard freestyle and a two-time state champion in the 200 individual medley.

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