RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Making the Olympics is a rare thing, but to do it twice?
That’s the elite company that Richmond’s Townley Haas finds himself in after swimming in two events at the Tokyo Olympics.
Haas also competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, winning gold in the 4×200 meter relay.
“I don’t know that it’s fully set in that I’m a two-time Olympian, but it’s always an honor to be able to do it,” Haas said. “Whether it’s worlds or PanPacs or the Olympics, I’m glad to have the opportunity to do it. I hope I did it well.”
This time, Haas made the semifinals in the 200 meter freestyle as an individual and anchored the Americans’ fourth-place finish in the 4×200 meter relay.
“I thought we did great,” Haas said of the relay. “I thought it was a ton of fun still. It’s still an Olympic relay in the finals. It was not quite the team outcome we wanted, but I was still very happy with it.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing changes to the Games, most notably a lack of spectators, Haas said the day-to-day experience wasn’t radically different.
“The village looked like a village and the bus system was pretty similar and the pool and the dining hall and stuff like that,” Haas said. “We had to wake up every morning and do COVID tests.”
Haas is grateful for his time and his development in his home city.
“I’ve been swimming in Richmond basically since I was 3 until I left for college, so pretty much everything I got in high school and leading up to college was here.”
Haas plans to relax and enjoy some family functions and weddings for the next few weeks.