Cammile Adams served as a bridesmaid Wednesday night. Texas A&M’s own finished fourth, .70 of a second behind Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi for a medal in the 200-meter butterfly.
Adams, though, was giddy as she left the pool at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.
The 2:05.20 she swam was a career-best.
“I’ve been wanting to go under 2:06 for so long, for four years now to be honest,” Adams said. “I think to break that 2:06 marker, I’m just so incredibly proud of myself, and so incredibly of what this sport has taught me and how God has used me in this sport. I just absolutely can’t wait for what else he has in store for me.”
Adams knows exactly what’s next. She becomes the bride Oct. 15, marrying Rad Brannen in Houston almost two years after the couple’s engagement.
It promises to be the medal moment she didn’t get in Rio.
“I fly home the day after swimming to finish the planning,” said Adams, who had been training in Charlotte but has already moved back to Houston. “Oct. 15 is by far going to be the best day of my life. It’s going to blow all of this out of the water. … We’re just really excited to finally live in the same city and be married.”
Team USA won three more medals in the pool Wednesday night, including gold in the women’s 4x200 freestyle relay with Katie Ledecky taking over the lead on the anchor leg. The U.S. has 21 swimming medals. No other country has more than seven.
21Swimming medals won by the United States, including eight gold medals
Adams, 24, was more disappointed at not adding to the total than any personal disappointment.
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the 200 butterfly in 2:04.85, with Australia’s Madeline Groves second in 2:04.88.
Adams gave it her all, even if her best wasn’t good enough for a medal. Really, that’s what the Olympics are about.
“I looked at myself in the mirror as I was putting on my makeup the first night and I said, ‘Cam, you are so amazing,’ and I’m so proud of who I am,” said Adams, who finished fifth in the 2012 Games. “I said as long as I did my best, I was going to be happy with that. Yeah, I’m bummed to not get a medal. But I think I’m more bummed I’m not adding to the USA’s count. Honestly, just like I said, I’m just so incredibly proud to go a best time.”
Until Adams touched the wall Wednesday, pretty much everything that could go wrong had in the lead-up to the Olympic final:
▪ It took a video review for Adams’ disqualification from the U.S. Olympic Trials to be overturned after the prelims when an official ruled she pushed off her back.
▪ Then, Adams nearly blew it in the semifinal Tuesday night in Rio, qualifying for the eighth and final spot after a lackluster swim.
▪ As Adams readied for her race on the pool deck Wednesday night, her goggles broke.
“It never stops,” Adams said, laughing. “I think that’s what also is really great about this sport is it teaches you how to overcome adversity and how to get over the little obstacles. Obviously, just getting into that final was an obstacle in itself for me over these past two months. I’m pretty freakin’ stoked with the 2:05.9.”
Adams, who graduates from A&M in December after a semester student teaching at Copeland Elementary in Cy-Fair, was prepared to call it quits after Rio. Not now.
“I’m not ready to be done,” she said. “I thought after this meet I might be ready to hang up the suit, but I still feel like I have a lot of learning to do.”
Adams departed the interview area with her familiar valediction: “Thanks and Gig ‘em!” It might have been the last we hear from her. Then again, maybe not.