GRANBURY — The small town of Granbury fittingly decided to open up the local pool this weekend to celebrate an Olympic swimmer’s historic win.
As swimmer Dana Vollmer grabbed her third gold medal of the London Games and set a second world record, dozens of children and residents frolicked in the pool where she once trained.
Mayor Rickie Pratt waived the normal $3 admission at the Dana Volmer Municipal Swim Center and declared Saturday part of “Dana Vollmer Free Swim Weekend.”
“We call it here Dana-mania,” Mayor Pratt boasted.
Vollmer was raised in Granbury and trained for years with the Fort Worth Area Swim Team (FAST). In her adolescence, she often trained in local Granbury pool which now bears her name.
Vollmer began competing at a very young age. By 12 she was already swimming at the 2000 Olympic trials — the youngest person to ever take part in meet.
“I don’t really find it intimidating,” a 12-year-old Vollmer told News 8 then. “It just makes me want to go faster to show them a 12-year-old can beat them.”
She competed in the 2004 Athens games and won a gold medal in a team event, but Vollmer did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
“I’m just so proud of her,” said her brother Nick Vollmer. “She finally got that gold she wanted.”
Nick Vollmer still lives in the area and coaches the local high school swim team. He expects his sister success to help his recruiting efforts.
“I’m real excited to see who comes out thanks to all this Dana stuff,” he said with a laugh. “Hopefully we’ll get Dana out here and talk to them and work with them a little bit.”
Dana Vollmer, 24, now lives with her husband in California, but town leaders are already planning a welcome home celebration for their hero.
“Dana’s given the town something to be really proud of,” her brother said.