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INDIANAPOLIS — Two-time gold medalist and Indiana University alum Zach Apple may have retired from swimming last year, but he’s still in the game. He’ll actively participate in the upcoming US Team Swimming Trials at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Apple says he’ll be cheering on his fellow Americans in the stands. The trials start Saturday, June 15, and run through Sunday, June 23. About 1,000 swimmers will compete daily for one of 52 spots on Team USA.

“I still know a lot of guys and girls who are swimming and competing,” said Apple. “The biggest thing for an athlete is just to focus in on your race and what you’re doing and try to block out the crowd.”

That’s easier said than done. This year’s Trials at Lucas Oil Stadium will be set up for over 30,000 fans. Officials hope to draw more than 20,000 on the first night, potentially setting a record for the largest swim meet crowd, surpassing the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

“I think the biggest crowd that I’ve swam in front of was Olympics, and I think the one before that was 17,000,” he said. “We are almost doubling that.”

Apple was a key player in Team USA’s freestyle relays throughout his career, competing in major international meets. In 2021, he helped Team USA win gold in the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays. He says winning a gold medal is a feeling unlike any other.

“You dream about what it’s going to be like, and then standing on that podium and hearing the National Anthem play, to have the medal put around your neck is incredible,” he added.

Apple says young swimmers should stay open-minded, be teachable, and work daily to achieve their goals.

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