Get to Know Claire Donahue


What’s your favorite TYR Suit style and print?

Definitely the Women’s Amazonia Crosscutfit Tieback Workout Bikini in black/multi. It’s just so comfy and super cute on!

On a typical day, what would we find in your training bag?

Alway, SUNSCREEN! Also, my Tracer Racing Goggles (mirrored), my WKU swim caps, a TYR suit, the TYR Plush Towel (it’s so soft), my hair brush, leave-in conditioner, lotion, wallet and of course, my phone.

Tell us five things most people don’t know about you:

  1. One time I ate a dead bug just so we could play water polo instead of practice. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
  2. I love watching cheesy TV (and cheesy Christmas movies).
  3. I have a sweet tooth, and I am a sucker for anything chocolate covered. I also love sour gummy worms.
  4. I hate sweet potatoes. That’s the only food I dislike.
  5. I am one of the most forgetful people you’ll ever meet. Unless you know my mom- she wins.

What are five things you’re grateful for this holiday season?

  1. My family. Even though I haven’t been able to spend much time with them this year, I know they’re always there for me no matter what.
  2. My new team. I’ve only been there a few months, and they’ve already become like a second family to me.
  3. Being able to live in beautiful weather so close to the beach.
  4. My playful pup Remy.
  5. Laughter

With the pressure of competition we know that motivation is everything. What are some words you live by to keep you feeling at the top of your game?

Attitude is everything. I’ve heard it a million times, but you don’t realize how powerful those words are until you live by them. Having a positive perspective really is so important in and out of the water.

What’s your go-to breakfast choice?

I always start my day with water. Usually I follow that up with some fruit, oatmeal and a little coffee.  

What would you consider your greatest athletic accomplishment to date?

Definitely having the opportunity to swim at the 2012 Olympic Games.


What about your greatest personal accomplishment?

Graduating from my alma mater, Western Kentucky University.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Slow down and take it all in. Life moves really fast. So, it’s important to savor every moment (both the good and the bad), and enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it.

If you could be on any reality TV show, what would it be and why?

Fear Factor! They used to have this show on TV, maybe they still do, and you compete in different challenges. Some involve eating bugs or laying in them, while others involve very tall buildings. I always thought I’d be pretty good at it.

What are some of your hobbies outside of swimming?

Reading, baking, biking and of course now, going to the beach! I haven’t learned how to surf yet, but it’s on my list.

What is your most memorable race to date?

My most memorable race was definitely at Duel in the Pool 2013. That year the competition between the US Allstars and European Allstars was really close. In the end it came down to the two final relays, which resulted in a tie. To determine a winner, we had to race a tiebreaker 200 mixed medley relay with each team consisting of two boys and two girls. I was chosen to race. The entire meet came down to this relay-a sprint to the finish. It happened so fast it’s hard to remember, but the part that is so memorable for me was what happened at the end. Not only did we win the relay and the meet, but we also earned ourselves a world record! Up until college I had never experienced that feeling of an entire meet coming down to the last relay. It was such an adrenaline rush! When you’re not just racing for yourself, but for your team, it takes you to an entirely different level. Winning that relay for our team and our country was huge. Needless to say, I think I hugged every single person on the team that day.


What three words best describe you as a competitor?

Focused, passionate and resilient.

What three words best describe you as a person?

Positive, passionate and caring.

If you weren’t a swimmer what would you be doing?

If I weren’t a swimmer I would definitely be a social worker. I think I’d either be working in a school or with the homeless.

Where do you see  yourself in ten years?

I dream about my future all the time, but funny enough, that usually only extends to swimming. My big dream is to make the Olympic team again, and to travel all over the world the following year for swim meets. When I think ten years down the road it gets very fuzzy. Right now my only dream for the future is that I’m still as passionate, hard working, and happy as I am right now.

What advice would you give to a young aspiring swimmer?

My advice would be to never forget why you started swimming. It’s easy to get caught up in racing and the desire to win, and it’s even easier to forget why you love the sport. But when I remind myself to focus on why I started, I’m a lot happier. Your time in the pool is meant to be enjoyed!