TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Growing up in Midland, Olympic swimmer and bronze medalist Natalie Hinds said she only dreamed of where she is today.
“I remember just being there before the meet started and like warming up and being brought to tears that like it took me so long to get to this point and it was worth every single second,” said Hinds.
Now she’s sharing her inspiring story with a room full of East Texas girls, showing them they can do anything they set their mind to.
“I’m definitely living the dream that I want to, and trying to inspire people who are of a younger age and who are really going through like sixth graders who are going through a transitional time in their life,” said Hinds.
It all started for hinds when she was a little girl, looking up to her sister who was also a swimmer.
“I just kind of gravitated more toward swimming just because I was able to control my own result,” she explained.
She said competitiveness kicked in for her as she got older, and went to more swim meets.
“I can remember the first time I went to Dallas like I did, I was nowhere to be found, I didn’t do well because there were so many good swimmers, and so it kind of just opened my eyes to like okay well if I want to do this I really have to double down,” added Hinds.
From then on, she started taking swimming more seriously, putting in the extra effort with a strict schedule to reach her fullest potential.
She passes on the lesson of “hard work pays off” to the girls.
“I love how Natalie said to stay consistent and that really put like because I’m trying to do better this year of being consistent,” said Addie King.
Even though it wasn’t easy, after years of work and staying consistent with training, hinds dream came true taking her to Tokyo.
“Moments of euphoria I think are worth it like I think being able to stand on the podium for the United States of America is like truly a feeling you can’t really verbalize,” said Hinds.
After a break, Hinds is picking back up where she left off in hopes of making team USA once again.
“Being in an Olympic village and surrounded by people who you all have the same goal, it’s a pretty powerful feeling and one that I hope to feel again,” she said.
In the meantime, she is teaching girls to chase their goals while still following her own.