TEAM USA swimmer Erica Sullivan has revealed how she trained in duck poo en route to scooping a silver medal at the Tokyo Games.
The 20-year-old was pipped to the gold medal in the women’s 1500m freestyle event by compatriot Katie Ledecky.
Erica Sullivan won the silver medal for Team USA in the women’s 1500m freestyle eventCredit: Getty
American youngster Sullivan finished behind her team-mate Katie Ledecky at Tokyo 2020Credit: AP
It was a remarkable swim from the Las Vegas native who has spoken of how difficult her training was in the build-up to competing in Japan.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, access to swimming pools were restricted, with athletes forced to look elsewhere to train.
Some unorthodox methods involved swimmers using paddling pools, while Sullivan opted to train in Lake Mead, located 24 miles off the Las Vegas strip.
And the Asian-American has remarked how the water was often ‘brown-green’ – resembling the murky water from pools at Rio 2016.
Quoted by Yahoo, Sullivan said of Lake Mead: “There was just duck poop everywhere.
“And it was murky and a solid brown-green on a good day.
“It was just gross. We were getting duck mites, apparently they like to eat on ducks’ poop and they like still water.
“We’d get in the water and we were covered in bites. It was nasty.
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“It built character. I’m funnier because of it.”
Sullivan also discussed the death of her father who passed away when she was 16 – just four weeks before she made the national team.
Speaking in her press conference, she said: “The last five years, I’ve had a lot of struggles, and I think everyone knows that. It’s pretty much (an) open book now.
“But it feels good to have it all finally pay off, and I really hope I can be like a beacon of hope to anyone who’s struggling with mental health or coming out or any minority that they are, to show that there’s hope.
“And honestly me getting to do it here, where half my family is from, means the world.”