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Coast Guard Academy cadet qualifies for Olympic trials in free style swim

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(WTNH) — A Coast Guard Academy cadet in Connecticut is making big waves with the swim team; he has qualified for the Olympic trials.

The Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy have a busy schedule. Making time for sports isn’t easy. But, First Class Cadet Joe Rodriquez finds time to chase his passion, swimming.

Rodriquez is from Atlanta, Georgia and is a member of the academy’s swimming and diving team.

He told News 8 he only swims as a hobby while he pursues a career in the Coast Guard, but recently he qualified for the Olympic trials in the 50 meter free style.

The trials will be held in Omaha, Nebraska from June 20-27.

Rodriquez said the team trains 10 hours a week for years for what ends up being “a very short race…a 23 second race.”

“The idea of racing with Olympians is pretty humbling in itself. Being able to excel and be the first person ever at the academy to do that is always an honor.”

– First Class Cadet Joe Rodriquez

Rodriquez explained that after the trials in Omaha he’ll be focusing on his career in the Coast Guard. But while he’s swimming with Olympians, he’ll be doing it for more than himself.

“I’m trying to do it for people here and to kind of pave the way for more swimmers in the future.”

– First Class Cadet Joe Rodriquez

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