All-stars stand out above the rest by inspiring others with their attitudes as well as their accomplishments. Grace Weed, 7th grader at Sebastian Middle School, is a former competitive gymnast and longtime swimmer turned synchronized swimmer. She is part of a National Championship Team, the Flagler County Synchro Belles. Although she’s been on the YMCA swim team since age five, Grace has only been a synchronized swimmer for two years. Not only does synchro take dedicated focus and hours of training, it takes enormous strength to never touch the bottom of the pool during a routine. It also takes teamwork to be in the right spot at the right time to execute lifts and throws. Grace has the whole package—grace, skill and heart for the sport.
What inspired you to begin synchronized swimming? It was a sport I had never really heard of before and I saw the water show the Synchro Belles put on each June. I thought it was beautiful and saw where my gymnastics would really work with my swimming skills.
How many hours do you spend swimming each week? While training for Junior Olympics we were averaging 35 hours or more each week. During the year I swim 15 or more hours a week.
Most exciting moment you’ve experienced at a competition: Going on deck to start my routine at the National Competition last year in Seattle, WA.
What do you love most about being in the pool? I like the way I feel when I swim. I feel in control of all I do.
Favorite move in synchronized swimming: I like hybrids. A hybrid is a bunch of leg movements performed while I am underwater, but my legs are on top during a routine.
Most difficult part of synchronized swimming: There are lots of difficult parts! Holding my breath for 1 and ½ laps is pretty hard.
Goals and dreams for synchronized swimming: I would like to continue with synchronized swimming and possibly get a scholarship to swim synchro or speed swimming in college.
What advice or encouragement would you offer to fellow young athletes? Don’t ever give up! It takes you away from your friends and family sometimes because you must practice. If you have a dream and you love what you are doing you must stay with it.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: In 2013 Grace earned female age group 9-10 High Point Champion at the YMCA Swim Finals. In her first year swimming with the Synchro Belles her trio placed 14th in the nation. Grace received the Gold Medal at the 2015 Sunshine State Games for duet in her age group.