Julie Meynen is headed to Tokyo. The former Auburn swimmer received an email from FINA over the weekend, inviting her to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics where she will represent her home country of Luxembourg.
Meynen’s 50 freestyle time (24.78) from the FINA World Championships in 2019 was 0.01 off the Olympic A Standard (24.77), and though she did not earn automatic qualification, she was fast enough to earn an invitation from FINA. She will compete in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events while in Tokyo.
“It means so much,” Meynen said. “It’s been tough because I wasn’t sure if I was going to go, so I’m really relieved that all the work I’ve put in here at Auburn I can show at the Olympics. Even though it was a tough year this past year, I’m so excited to go. After training for five years, this is kind of the gift for me to go. I’m extremely excited.”
This will be Meynen’s second Olympics. In the 2016 Rio Games, she placed 26th in the 50 freestyle (25.12) and 25th in the 100 freestyle (55.09). She set the Luxembourg national record in both events – records she has since broken.
“In Rio I was going for the very first time,” Meynen said. “It’s different when you go for the first time. Everything seems so amazing. I know these Olympics are going to be different especially with COVID, but my intentions, I want to swim really well, I want to race really well. I kind of know what to expect on some sort of level. I’m really excited to go and race.”
Meynen will swim the 100 freestyle heats on July 28 and then the 50 freestyle heats on July 30. If she advances, the semifinals follow a day after the heats and the final for each event is the day following the semifinals.
While at Auburn, Meynen was a 14-time CSCAA All-American and was part of four SEC champion relay teams. Individually, she won bronze medals in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at SECs as a senior. She is the second-fastest all-time at Auburn in both events.
Meynen, who has been training in Auburn since graduating, is scheduled to depart for Tokyo on July 12 with fellow Olympian and Auburn alum Luis Martinez.