Power Move

Sarasota Native and 2024 Olympic Hopeful Emma Weyant Releases Her Second Swimwear Collection

We chatted with Weyant about the upcoming Olympic trials, her new Riviera Reverie collection for Sporti and SwimOutlet, and how she balances sports with school.

By Elizabeth Djinis March 26, 2024

Emma Weyant models activewear from her new Riviera Reverie Collection for Sporti and SwimOutlet.

Will this be Sarasota swimmer Emma Weyant’s Olympic year? One could be mistaken for thinking that’s the question on every Sarasotan’s mind as the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics approach. Weyant, 22, a former member of the Sarasota Sharks, won the Olympic silver medal in the women’s 400-meter individual medley event at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19. At the time, Weyant had recently graduated from Riverview High School. 

Now, almost four years later, as a junior and swimmer at the University of Florida, she’s busy preparing for the USA Swimming Olympic trials from June 15 to 23 in Indianapolis. But in typical Olympian fashion, she’s not content to engage only in swimming—Weyant is also an aspiring fashion designer. She recently released her second collection of training swimwear and activewear with athletic outfitter Sporti and SwimOutlet, called Sporti x Emma Weyant Riviera Reverie. While the mix of bow-bedecked bikinis and French toile-inspired two-piece sets may conjure days spent seaside at Cannes, as the name suggests, the promotional images for Weyant’s collection were actually shot at a well-known Sarasota spot: Marina Jack

We chatted with Weyant about the upcoming Olympic trials, what makes durable swimwear, and how she balances sports with school. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Weyant took home a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

You were an Olympic silver medalist in swimming in 2020 and now you're a hopeful for 2024. What is it like preparing for the Olympics, both physically and logistically? 

"Swimming is an all-year-round sport—we take small breaks at the end of the summer, but we have a collegiate season from August to March. The Olympic trials are in Indianapolis this year, and you have to place first or second in my event, the 400-meter individual medley, to qualify. 

"As far as the physical aspect, I think the biggest difference between the first and second time around is getting more adjusted to a college training cycle. We have more meets throughout the year and we want to be the best we can be, but we want to try to be strategic about it.

"Olympic trials are the most high-pressure meets in swimming—especially in the United States. The first time around [for the trials] was also a Covid year, so we had the first trials without having actual people in the stands. It was very intimidating, but once I actually got to the [Olympic] games, I felt less pressure than at the trials. At the games, it was more of a surreal moment—more team-based, because you’re competing for the country." 

What did it mean to you to win the Olympic silver medal in 2020?  How has it affected your swimming career?

"The first year after the Olympics, I felt like I needed to outperform—I needed to be better. Now I have a different perspective. This is a new stage of my career. I’ve done this before, and I know what it takes. It’s about trusting that my training has been better than ever. I'm going into this new Olympic cycle trying to view everything as small steps. I’m trying to celebrate the little moments throughout the year and not put as much pressure on one meet." 

"Sarasota has been an inspiration for the collection ever since the first one," Weyant says.
"Sarasota has been an inspiration for the collection ever since the first one," Weyant says.

How did growing up in Sarasota, particularly living by the water, inspire your swimming career? 

"I moved to Sarasota very early, and I started swimming with the Sarasota Sharks when I was 9. I would swim at the beach all the time. Throughout this process, I’ve had so much support from people around Sarasota. One of the coolest things about the second [Sporti and SwimOutlet] collection is that we got to shoot it at Marina Jack. I’ve been going there since I was younger, so it was a very cool moment to be able to showcase Sarasota, which has been an inspiration for the collection ever since the first one." 

You transferred two years ago from the University of Virginia to the University of Florida, where you are currently a junior. How has that transition been?

"I’m a lot closer to home and closer to my family. I get to train with some of the best athletes in the world, and my club and college coach have a really good relationship. The University of Florida has been awesome, and the women’s team has come a long way. It’s really exciting to be a part of it."

You joined the Sarasota Sharks at a young age and are not the only Olympic medalist to come out of that team. Can you talk about how being a part of that community was meaningful to your swimming career?

"The culture there, the tradition that they’ve established through the years, and the coaching staff are what taught me to see what goals could be reached. My sister and I both swam there, and it was very cool to get to swim with her through the years. She will be at UF next year, too. I swam with [coach] Brent Arckey at Sarasota, and I owe a lot to him—he has helped me achieve my wildest goals." 

"One of the coolest things about the second collection is that we got to shoot it at Marina Jack," Weyant says.

How do you balance your studies and your sport?

"My parents always put a big emphasis on academics growing up because [my swimming career] won’t be forever. As a student-athlete at a college level, you have so many resources to help you. I think the sport itself teaches you discipline and organization and time management. 

"There’s definitely not that much free time—we swim twice a day, we lift every day. It’s about managing your time and fitting things into your schedule." 

"This is performance swimwear, so we want to make sure the fit works for all swimmer bodies," Weyant says.
"This is performance swimwear, so we want to make sure the fit works for all swimmer bodies," Weyant says.

Let’s talk about the Sporti and SwimOutlet collection. It’s the second time you’ve worked with them. The collection is billed as including training swimsuits. What makes a good training suit?

"When we [create] these collections, I meet with the design team and the marketing team and everyone at Sporti and the SwimOutlet. It has been the best working experience—they’ve been able to make my ideas come to life. 

"We have the fabric to keep in mind [as well as] the durability. We have bikinis in the line, and there’s a huge difference between a lounging bikini and a training bikini. Even when you’re swimming in chlorine every day, the colors and the fabric [in my collection] still last—that’s been really cool to see. 

"This is performance swimwear, so we want to make sure the fit works for all swimmer bodies. When you’re training, you don’t want things to be too loose, so the fabric is very form-fitting and hugs close to your body. There’s a lot less resistance. "

When you’re not swimming or studying, what do you like to do for fun? What does a perfect day look like? 

"We are a year-round sport. It’s not always easy to go places. But now that I’m at UF, my favorite thing to do is come home and visit my sisters. They all still live in Sarasota. The beach is my favorite place to be. Turtle Beach is my favorite place."

Filed under
Show Comments