18 Things to Know About Jewish Swimmer Claire Weinstein

The freestyler out-touched Katie Ledecky at the 2023 U.S. Swimming Championships.

In the words of Simone Biles: We are going to Paris!! The 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games kick off in a matter of weeks and there are plenty of exciting Jewish athletes going for the gold. So we here at Hey Alma (and our friends over at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Jewish Sports Report) are going to spotlight as many as we can.

First up, let’s dive into swimming. The sport of swimming has produced Jewish Olympians like Mark Spitz, Jason Lezak, Dara Torres and Anthony Ervin, and Jewish Paralympians Ariel and Mark Malyar and Matthew Levy. Now, 17-year-old phenom Claire Weinstein is poised to join their ranks.

Here are 18 things to know about the Team USA swimmer.

1. Claire Weinstein was born on March 1, 2007 in White Plains, New York to a Jewish family.

2. She’s a Pisces.

3. She has an older brother Michael and younger sisters Mary, Sophie and Emma.

4. Claire began swimming “on her own” at the age of 3 and started swimming competitively at age 6.

Claire was extremely easy to coach and was really good at communicating how she felt in the water,” her coach Carle Fierro said. “In addition, she displayed a great single-mindedness in attaining goals. She was diligent about doing workouts and motivating team members to do their best as well.”

5. Please enjoy these photos of her as a young swimmer.

6. Her family attends Reform Jewish synagogue Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains.

7. Her bat mitzvah took place on April 4, 2020. (Or at least, it was supposed to, according to this 2019-2020 winter newsletter from her synagogue. Because of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the date may have later shifted.)

8. For her mitzvah project, Claire volunteered as a coach at Westchester Aquatic swim club and made a donation to a charitable organization.

“Because of her passion for the sport and belief that everyone should learn to swim and have the opportunity to be a competitive swimmer if they desire, on her behalf a donation was made to the Christopher Dewey Memorial Swim Foundation,” her bat mitzvah announcement said. “Her donation will assist low income swimmers with training fees and also fees to participate in travel competitions.

9. As a teenager, Claire moved from New York to Las Vegas to train under coach Ron Aitken at the Sandpipers of Nevada swimming club.

10. At age 13, she qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, she did not make the team that year.

11. In 2022, Claire became the fastest American 15-year-old to swim the 200m freestyle. Later that year she would win a gold medal at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships as a part of the 4x200m women’s freestyle relay alongside Katie Ledecky, Leah Smith and Bella Sims.

12. Claire beat Katie Ledecky in the 200m freestyle at the 2023 U.S. Swimming Championships! She out-touched the Olympian by .02 seconds.

13. “I didn’t even know I was catching up to her,” Claire said in an interview after the race.

14. “Guess who’s going to Paris????? 🇫🇷 MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️,” Claire wrote on Instagram after qualifying for the 2024 Olympics.

Can you tell she was excited?

15. She qualified to represent Team USA in the individual women’s 200m freestyle and on the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team. On the relay team, Claire is joined by Katie Ledecky, Paige Madden and Erin Gemmell.

16. She’s 6 feet tall!

17. She might have a hairless cat??

18. After the Olympics, Claire is going to college! She has verbally committed to UC Berkeley, where she will be a member of the swimming team.

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