COURTESY OF NMU
MARQUETTE, Mich. – A former Northern Michigan University men’s swim and dive team member is representing Costa Rica in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
December 2019 graduate Arnoldo Herrera is taking part in the 200-meter breaststroke as part of the Costa Rican team, which has been a member of since 2009.
Herrera says that he has been working towards this milestone since he was a Wildcat.
“Everyone knows in Marquette and back home that my biggest dream is to represent my country on the big stage at the Olympic games.”
The former Wildcat student-athlete had a decorated career in his time in the Upper Peninsula. Herrera was an All-America honoree in 2018 and participated in three NCAA Championships while on the team. He was on the 200 medley relay team in 2019 that continues to hold the NMU record with a time of 1:28.87.
The swimmer says that he is taking some things he learned as a WIldcat to the Olympic games. One specific example of that is how the coaches at NMU emphasized training in a way that allowed the student-athletes to focus on their needs inside and out of the pool.
“The coaches at Northern taught me how to listen to my body. They always let us know that when you are not feeling your best, maybe because you did not sleep well or maybe you are feeling stress from an exam coming up, you can focus on other things to get better without wearing your body down or causing more stress. It is something I still use in my training today.”
The Wildcat team is happy to have representation in this year’s Olympics.
“The whole Wildcat Swimming and Diving family is very proud and excited to have Arnoldo Herrera representing Northern Michigan and his home country of Costa Rica in Tokyo,” said NMU head swim and dive coach Heidi Voight. “This has been his dream for as long as we have known him and we are so proud of his accomplishments.”
When it comes to Herrera’s expectations for the games he is keeping his focus on improving himself while also taking time to have fun with this opportunity.
“My main objective is to improve my best time. I am going to do what I need to do and focus on my race. I am also going to enjoy it. I love what I do and I’m going to try my best.”
Herrera takes to the Olympic pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Tuesday, July 27 at 6:35 a.m. EST for the first heat of the 200-meter breaststroke. To view the full Olympics schedule click here.