York County’s Hali Flickinger is now an Olympic medalist after placing third in the 400 Individual Medley finals in Tokyo.
The 27-year-old was swimming in fourth placed headed into the final 100 meters of the race. Her strong freestyle kick pushed her into third and into the bronze medal spot.
Over 6,700 miles away in Spring Grove Middle School, friends and family gathered to cheer on their favorite hometown hero. The support was overwhelming for Hali’s grandparents.
“That means the world to me,” said Hali’s grandmother Bonna Krout. “She’s just a super kid, I should say young woman. It’s just been exciting to watch her grow into the person she is today.”
The crowd donned Hali 2020ne shirts with “Go Hali” signs. The shirts were sold all week to benefit the York YMCA swim program, in which Hali got her start.
The mood inside the resource room was anxious, but excited in the hours leading up to Hali’s 4:34.90 bronze medal-winning swim.
“I got the chills,” said Hali’s grandfather Ken Krout before the event. “[I’m] really excited because we really didn’t think she would make this event, but she did and she’s going to give it everything she’s got.”
The Spring Grove native was expected to place third in this race. Her best event is the 200 meter butterfly, in which she competes Tuesday in prelims. She is one of the favorites to win that race.