Swimming Sisters About To Separate this Fall

Dunlap's Theobalds Won't Be Teammates

DUNLAP, Ill. - It is a vivid memory for Emma Theobald.

"I remember swim lesson from being a kid," Emma Theobald said. "I remember Olivia swimming and I wasn't able to swim because I wasn't old enough."

That was when she was five-years-old. And it's the last time sisters Olivia and Emma weren't teammates.

But that's about to change.

"It'll be weird," Emma Theobald said. "We go to the same school, swim practice, do the same things."

Olivia graduated in May from Dunlap High School, where Emma will be a senior this fall.

"We're trying to spend a lot of time together because we know we're not going to be together for nine months," Olivia Theobald said. "I know she'll visit me."

The sisters have been standout teammates for a dozen years, first with the Dunlap Dolphins swim club. Then at Dunlap High School.

But Olivia leaves for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in a couple weeks. She'll swim in college while youngers sister Emma finishes her prep career.

"I'm a little nervous," Olivia Theobald admitted. "I will turn to the next lane and she's not going to be there. It'll be weird."

The Theobald sisters really don't remember a time when they haven't been on the same team. They've been in the pool together since they were very young and have summer jobs teaching swim lessons.

Together, of course. They are around each other so much that some people can't tell them apart.

"The swim lesson kids say, 'Is that your sister? You guys look the same!' Yeah, we're sisters," said Olivia Theobald.

Sisters always.

Teammates? Maybe not much longer.


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