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Carson Sanocki Starts Off First Parapan American Games Strong With New American Record

By Melissa Zhang | Aug. 25, 2019, 1:31 p.m. (ET)

Carson Sanocki swims the 100-meter freestyle on behalf of the United States.
Carson Sanocki competes at the Parapan American Games LIma 2019 on Aug. 25, 2019 in Lima, Peru. 


This may be Carson Sanocki’s first trip to the Parapan American Games, but that hasn’t prevented him from making a statement in the pool right away.
During his first race at the Aquatic Center in Videna National Sports Village, Sanocki (Charlotte, North Carolina) set a new American record in the preliminary round of the men’s S13 100-meter freestyle with a time of 57.16 on Sunday, August 25.

“I was a little nervous going in, so I thought it was a good opportunity to get some of the first race jitters out,” Sanocki said, who competes on Sunday night in the final round of the 100m free, as well as the mixed 4x100-meter freestyle relay. “I'm really excited for my events tonight.”

As a member of the C team of the 2019 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team, Sanocki also swims the 100-meter breaststroke, which is his best event. He recently competed at the World Para Swimming World Series stop in Glasgow, Scotland with Team USA in April.

“This is the biggest trip I've been on, so I'm meeting a bunch of new people and it's been a lot of fun getting to know everyone. My favorite part so far has been being around the team,” the 20-year-old said. “It’s definitely a new experience. It's good to get used to, in order to prepare for Tokyo next summer.” 

He is also attending Queens University of Charlotte, where he is studying business and competing for the Queens’ swim team along with national team teammate and two-time Paralympic medalist Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina). 

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“I’ve been in some pretty big races in college, like our conference meet last year, so that helped me when I went to Scotland for the World Para Swimming meet and has given me some good experience coming to this stage,” Sanocki said. 

“My teammates back home have been really supportive and they're all texting me, so it's a great environment and I'm really fortunate to have that support.”

When he’s not training, Sanocki enjoys watching and playing sports, mainly basketball (he is a self-proclaimed LeBron James enthusiast) and football. 

Another hobby? Watching the Bachelor franchises, particularly Bachelor in Paradise, which he’s currently missing for Parapans. 

“It's definitely a great show, I'm really mad I'm missing it so I’m going to have to do a lot of catching up when I get home,” Sanocki said. “I'm trying not to read any spoilers. There's so much drama, it's hilarious.”

But for now, reality television can wait – Sanocki is focused on Lima 2019 and working towards earning a spot on the national team for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. 

“My number one goal is to make the cut for the A team in the 100m breast. I'm pretty close,” Sanocki said. “I have my focus on Tokyo and preparing for that. After this is over, I'll go home and work for a year to try and get better and hopefully earn a spot on the team for next summer.”