From Andover to the Olympics, decorated synchronized swimmer has local roots | News

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ANDOVER — Long before Ruby Remati was selected to compete on the USA Olympic Artistic Swimming Team, she was a youngster perfecting her craft in the Andover YMCA’s ANA Synchro program.

Remati, 21, is bound for Paris and the Olympic Games this summer, but her love for synchronized swimming started locally.

Remati’s family settled in Andover when she was 3 and her father began taking her to the local YMCA to swim, a choice that would change the course of her life.

One day during a visit, she watched a synchronized swimming competition and was hooked instantly.

“I saw it in-person and I really, really loved it, so I decided to try some classes out there,” Remati said.

Through classes at the YMCA, Remati was able to foster her talent and eventually join her first national team at 11.

Originally, Remati’s involvement with the national team was a summer-only commitment, but her perspective began to change when a new coach entered her life.

Leah Pinette, head coach of the ANA Synchro program, competed on the U.S. National Team and her presence allowed Remati to realize she wanted to pursue a similar path as her coach’s.

“I was very motivated by her and inspired by her, and that’s kind of where it hit where I realized I wanted to pursue the national team even further and make it my job for a couple of years,” Remati said.

So, at 14 Remati decided to leave Andover and chase her dream by joining the full-time national team based in California.

The decision proved to be a prosperous one as Remati thrived on the national team, which competed around the globe during her teens until 2020 when the team attempted to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Unfortunately, the national artistic swimming team suffered a difficult loss and missed the Olympics by a fraction of a point, a major blow to Remati and her teammates.

“In 2020, we missed the Olympics by like .02, and it was really devastating. I was a part of that team because we were so close,” Remati said.

Shortly after missing the Tokyo games, Remati enrolled at The Ohio State University where she competed in OSU’s synchro program, winning a national college championship.

Recently, Remati stepped away from school to take a gap year and try once again to reach the Olympics with the national team.

The road to the games, however, was not an easy one, she said, with missed qualifications leaving the team with one final chance to attend the games at the World Aquatic Championship. Yet, Remati said the pressure motivated her and her teammates.

“I think the added stress really made us rise to the occasion,” Remati said.

The team did exactly that, with their scores allowing them to be the first U.S. artistic swimming team to qualify for the Olympics since 2008, a long awaited moment.

“Everyone was just so happy and giggly, and it was just such a special moment. I think we still look to that moment currently on hard days to help us move forward as we train for the games,” Remati said.

Yet, that joyful news was not the end of Remati’s stress. The national team composed of 12 members needed to be cut down to eight athletes and one alternate to compete in the Olympics through a series of trials in important competitions.

“After the World Championships, the coaches were very transparent with how trials were going to go. It was basically an evaluation that lasted months. We would have simulations and evaluations to cut down to decide who would swim in which competition,” Remati said.

Remati was officially selected for the team in June, putting an end to months of stress and allowing her to accomplish her lifelong dream.

“It’s been such an intense couple of months. We trained so hard to qualify, and then trained even harder to make the team. So, once I heard the moment where you made it, it’s all good, I just started crying, I was super relieved,” Remati said.

Her sights set on medaling in Paris, Remati is training extensively to compete on the world stage.

“This is such an honor, but to just go to the Olympics to go. We want to win and do really well, and so it’s a whole new motivation for this next time for training,” Remati said.

With news of her accomplishment sweeping the nation, Remati has received extensive congratulations from Andover townspeople.

“So many people have reached out to me, it’s been really sweet feeling the hometown support, especially since I haven’t been there in a few years, I still feel as supported as ever,” Remati said.

With Andover cheering her on, Remati and her teammates will begin competing on Aug. 5 in Paris.

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