2024 Olympics: former Shorewood student swimming for The Gambia

When the best athletes in the world come together in Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, a local swimmer will be in the group, representing a country halfway around the world.

Pre-med students at Brown University face a lot of pressure, which is partially why Amie Barrow relishes her opportunity to escape as a member of the school's swim and dive team.

"I think being underwater is the closest thing I have ever experienced to flying on your own," she said. "When you're underwater you can't hear anything, you're in your own, like, bubble."

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A 2022 graduate of Shorewood High School, Barrow is about to leave her proverbial bubble. She will represent the African country of The Gambia on the world stage at the Olympics.

Amie Barrow

Amie's mom is Finnish, and her dad is Gambian. He still lives there. She first competed for the country at the world championships in Japan last summer, and is very proud to represent.

"Obviously, growing up here, I'm not there, but that's definitely a big part of who I am, so I think the last couple of years when I've been able to represent Gambia, that's brought me closer to that, which I've really liked," Barrow said.

Amie Barrow

Barrow has a lot on her proverbial plate, but wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, she has sought out many of the challenges which have opened doors for her, and she hopes to be an example by doing so.

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"I think I'm more so just brave, in a way. I think a lot of times opportunities are being presented to us, but it's easy to be afraid to take advantage of them," she said. And so I think to get anywhere really and take the next step and do better and get these big opportunities, you really just have to kind of go for it and, a lot of times, you have to be brave to do that, which is hard, but it's so rewarding."

Barrow will be the only woman on the Gambian swim team at the Olympics and there will also be one man representing the country. They will take their place right alongside the United States and other more populous nations in the world.