Saugus Alumni Goes to The Olympics!

Carter White, The Scroll, Sports Editor

Saugus High School alumni, Abbey Weitzeil, won two medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Weitzeil was a part of the Saugus swim team from 2011 to 2015. She won her silver medal in the 4×100 meter medley relay freestyle. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was Weitzeil’s second time at the Olympics as she participated in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Weitzeil is a very decorated swimmer and is a two-time Olympian (2016 and 2020) and a four-time Olympic medalist (1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze).  Weitzeil is an immensely talented swimmer and is a fantastic teammate, she has an impressive resume and has a great future ahead of her.

Dedication is key–it takes lots and lots of dedication to be successful, and to achieve that amount of success like Weitzeil did. According to Saugus High School Athletic Director George Lopata, “To be truly great at a sport, or anything for that matter, one must put in extra time and make that a top priority in their life. Regarding swimmers, they are up as early as 4:00 each morning and will begin two-hour workouts daily.” The combination of sacrifice, dedication, and skill to be an Olympian is large but shall be rewarding. Saugus High School swim coach, Jim Klipfel, said, “If we define success as reaching your fullest potential–as opposed to winning or achieving other accolades, then I’d say swimming requires a great deal of time and toughness. Hours of swim training and dryland training over a period of years build a novice into a strong, talented swimmer.”

Weitzeil had a massive impact on the Saugus swim team and was not only a fantastic swimmer but also a teammate. According to Mr. Klipfel, “[Wetzeil] was well-liked and left huge footprints. She set records in nearly every event–some of which may never be broken here at SHS. Her legacy brings pride to the team and school.”  Weitzeil was a tremendous swimmer and teammate. Lopata said, Abbey impacted the Saugus swim team by being a great teammate. She made the Saugus swim team a priority by choosing to compete for her high school instead of dropping out and attending an Olympic training program. 

To be an Olympian at the level Weitzeil has, there is the debate of if it is skill or talent for success. According to Mr. Klipfel, “ There is a substantial debate in swimming about this. Many believe that you can turn a novice or decent swimmer into a good–or maybe great swimmer, however, many also believe that you need talent and the right DNA to become a great or world- class swimmer.” Mr. Lopata believes that it is a mix of both, he said, “There are many individuals in this world that are blessed with skill but they waste it. On the other hand, there are less skilled individuals but through determination and the right mindset, make themselves extremely successful.” Success is a tough thing to achieve, however, Weitzeil has exceeded the definition of it.