Green Wave swimmer eyes spot in Olympics

May 15, 2012 5:45 AM

Richie Weaver

While Hagar Elgendy’s days as a member of the Tulane University swimming and diving team have come to an end, her time in the pool is far from over. The soon-to-be graduate has her eye on a new goal — representing her country in the Olympic games. 


Hagar Elgency and Lena Guarriello

At poolside, senior Hagar Elgendy, left, consults with her coach Lena Guarriello prior to a training session. (Photo by Guillermo Cabrera-Rojo)

A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Elgendy will be one many hopefuls at the Speedo Grand Challenge from May 25–27 in Irvine, Calif., trying to make the cut to be an Olympian. Elgendy will participate in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 100 fly.

“Swimming is my way of expressing gratitude to God for everything I have in my life — for my family, my teammates, my coaches and the talent I’ve been blessed with,” says Elgendy, who has been training for 17 years. “It’s never been about me. I want to be an example for other kids coming up into the sport.” Her younger sister, also a swimmer, is 11 years old.

Away from the pool, Elgendy twice was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Tulane 3.0 Club. She and will receive her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience on Saturday (May 19) at commencement.

“Her goal since she came to Tulane was to make the 2012 Egyptian Olympic team,” says Tulane swimming and diving coach Lena Guarriello, “and it hasn’t really left her mind for even a second since she got here.”

A two-year letterwinner who transferred to Tulane from the University of Miami, Elgendy helped lead a Green Wave team filled with young players because of its return as a varsity sport after Hurricane Katrina.

She also made her mark in the pool. At the Conference USA championship, she joined her Tulane teammates for the 200 free relay and they earned third-team All-Conference honors, setting a school record.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000