Bloomfield's Brooke Thompson Breaks Swimming Records and Gets Invite to Deaflympics
Every serious athlete dreams of competing at the Olympic level in their sport. Bloomfield resident Brooke Thompson (grade 11) will see that dream realized, heading to Brazil in a few months to compete at the Deaflympics as a member of the USA Deaf Swimming National Team.
As a top-ranked high school swimmer, Thompson has five Bloomfield Hills High School records and set a new Deaf American record at the 2021 Michigan High School State Championships with a 23.81 in the 50 yard freestyle event. Thompson also holds the 50 meter freestyle Deaf American record at 27.34.
Thompson will attend the games in Caxias do Sul from May 1-15 along with more than 4,500 deaf athletes from over 100 countries. “I don’t entirely know what events I’ll be swimming,” said Thompson, “but I’ll probably be doing events where I am most likely to medal. There is a chance I’ll be swimming everyday, since there are not as many girls.”
Brazil will be familiar territory as Thompson previously competed in the 2019 Deaf World Championships in Sao Paulo. With even more impressive times now, Thompson is cautiously looking ahead to a potential spot on the podium. As a measure of comparison, the records Thompson broke were held by Peggy Liang, who won three gold medals in the 2011 World Deaf Swimming Championships.
A total of 12 deaf swimmers will be on the 2022 team, many of whom also swam in the 2019 World events. “The most fun thing I think will be is catching up with friends I haven’t seen in two and a half years and also racing against other countries,” said Thompson.
Besides managing a heavy academic workload as an International Academy student, Thompson trains with the Motor City Aquatics club team for state and national championships coming up this spring. “I have coordinated with my IA teachers, and they have been very supportive with me and my swimming,” said Thompson. “They will continue to guide me and help me with handling school.”
The Deaflympics fall under the auspices of The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. The Games were first held in Paris in 1924 and were the first ever for a group of people with a disability. The Deaflympics are second only to the Olympics in having organized sporting events for international competition. The current Deaf American Records can be found at: USADS Deaf American Records.