Quick Quotes with Ruby, Dani and Bill: Pan American Games Preview
by USA Artistic Swimming
Q: Now that you have one competition under your belt back competing duet and team with the national team, what are you hoping to showcase with Megumi in Santiago?
A: (Ruby Remati) To compete duet is an honor already but it’s also exciting to be able to open up for team with the way the schedule is laid out. We are hoping to start off strong for the entire event. Of course, we have been really focusing on team but Megumi and I have improved a lot in execution since Worlds and we are excited to show everyone that improvement.
Q: You’ll be the first male to represent the United States in artistic swimming at a Pan American Games, do you expect to see any other males competing in Santiago?
A: (Bill May) I am very happy to say I really think there will be many men competing in Santiago for the first time. We saw a lot at World Championships. It’s a huge evolution of our sport and showcases inclusivity. The Pan American games will be great to showcase how strong we are in the Americas and the progress we are making.
Q: Ruby and Dani, you both competed in Lima in 2019. How do you expect your experience to be different at your second Pan American Games?
A: (Dani Ramirez) I think my first Pan American Games we were focused on gauging where we were as a new and pretty young team. Now, we have grown a lot as a team and we have finally found a way to maximize our strengths. We aren’t young anymore, we are pretty experienced, and I think we are going to use that to our advantage. We are lucky to have always had amazing competitors. But now, I think we are finally the strong competitor we always hoped to become again representing USA. It’s going to be really different for us: we aren’t the underdog anymore.
Q: What things have you done since Fukuoka to change your training routine or bond as a team?
A: (Bill May) We realized we really needed to clean up our routines after Worlds and be able to execute everything more precisely and improve our synchronization. We need to not just be number one in difficulty but in everything. As a team, we are shooting for perfection and approaching it with the confidence that this could not only earn us a qualification placement for the Olympic Games, but also potentially a spot on an Olympic podium.
A: (Ruby Remati) For the Pan American Games, we want to be as prepared as we possibly can and knowing the schedule ahead of time has really helped us out. We’ve done multiple simulations every week so we can replicate the feeling of competition. Training at different hours has helped us mentally feel confident. No matter what happens, we’ve trained at 9pm after a seven-hour day before so we feel ready for what is ahead.
A: (Bill May) Mental strength plays a huge role in success. Our coaches replicating competition feelings, environments, sensations and pressure has been an incredible Opportunity to prepare so that we can enjoy the process and the big moments ahead of us. The coaches have been awesome about getting us mentally prepared. We’re excited because we are ready and enjoying the journey every step of the way.
Q: What has been the most enjoyable part of preparing for Santiago for you?
A: (Dani Ramirez) Coming in as a favorite is really different for us. It’s been really enjoyable to finally not be chasing at someone’s heels and instead looking behind us to make sure we are doing the work to stay in the position to be successful. This team has really bonded in a way I’ve never experienced before. We are really confident in each other and our capabilities. I know I can count on every single one of my teammates and I think that is going to be something I cherish forever. This team has taught me a lot about myself while preparing for this Pan American Games.
Q: What can fans expect from Team USA at this year’s Pan American Games?
A: (Ruby Remati) With the new scoring system, this team is a lot more confident than we have been in the past. This system provides the opportunity to be rewarded for what you are doing on that day in that pool, rather than entering the competition being able to predict rankings. It’s literally anyone’s game. We are really strong competitors. We compete with fight and hunger, so the opportunity this new system provides is exciting for viewers and perfect for us.