Hitting her Stride in Berlin, Sophomore Looking to Paralympics

Cailin Currie '21 recently returned from the Paralympics World Series in Berlin where she competed in the tune-up swimming meet leading into qualifying races for next summer's Paralympics games in Tokyo.

An early-childhood education major, Currie has been swimming for exercise since she was six months old and competitively swimming since she was about 8. She specializes in the mid- to long-distance freestyle, swimming up to a mile in 18 to 20 minutes.

The Danvers, Massachusetts woman is sight-impaired, so when she fell behind in child activities as an infant, her doctor suggested swimming as an early intervention. Since then she has swum with a number of teams, including the Merrimack Valley YMCA, before enrolling at Merrimack.

“I felt I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do and wanted to see where I could go with it,” she said.

As a young swimmer, Currie used the black stripes at the bottom of pools to guide her, but she drifted back and forth because she had trouble seeing the markings. She made an adjustment in technique and now hugs the lane markers, which helps her travel in a straight line.

She didn’t have great times at the qualifying Berlin meet, but shattering records wasn’t her mission. She just needed to get ready for qualifying meets. “Now I can train for Tokyo,” she said after returning home.

When Merrimack’s women’s swim team starts its season this year, Currie will be swimming alongside her sister Kirsten Currie ’23, whom Merrimack coach Erin Cammann recruited.

The Paralympic Games is an international sporting event for athletes with impairments. The United States Olympic Committee changed its name last week to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, offering greater recognition and respect to the paralympic movement.


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