(WHTM) — Spring Grove’s Hali Flickinger has won bronze in the 200 meter butterfly at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is her second medal of the games and her career.
The 27-year-old swimmer won bronze in the 400 individual medley on Saturday, July 24.
“Just pure joy, excitement, proudness,” said Hali’s mother, Lea Flickinger, of her emotions before the race. “Honestly, I’m speechless still with everything. We’re just proud of her accomplishments.”
Coming into the 200 Fly, Flickinger was considered one of the favorites to win the event. Her parents say it was that expectation that sometimes caused anxiety.
“They just have a target on their back at all times,” Lea said. “You just feel like she has to perform to be that top that everyone is talking about.”
Nonetheless, Hali has served as an inspiration to the hundreds of young swimmers in the Midstate. Leading up to the Olympics, the buzz was palpable in her hometown of Spring Grove.
Her former teams in Spring Grove Swim and the York YMCA hung on every word Hali said in a zoom call with young swimmers. Her success served as inspiration for these young minds.
“This hometown is what got [Hali] to where she is now,” said Hali’s father, Doug. “This is where it all started. She knows this is where she got her start. Without it, she wouldn’t where she’s at.”
This is Flickinger’s second time representing Team USA in the Olympics; the Spring Grove native also swam in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Hali was only scheduled to swim the 200 Fly and 400 IM in the 2020 Olympics. In accordance with this year’s rules, Hali will now return to the United States before the conclusion of the games.