Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Nicole Carter

Nicole Carter ’02, a Wheaton assistant coach, has been training Algonquin Regional High swimmer Dorian McMenemy, who will be competing in the 100-meter butterfly event in the summer Olympics in London. The 15-year-old Northboro, Mass., resident, will be representing the Dominican Republic, with Carter cheering her on.

Supporting role: I am the head coach at Evolution Aquatics, a swimming program based in Westboro, Mass. Dorian trains with me year round with our club team. As the head coach my role is to make sure every athlete gets the training and support they need to succeed. I must create an environment in which athletes are motivated to achieve their goals and constantly evolve in the sport of swimming and in academics.

Different swimmer, same drill: Coaching an Olympic contender is no different than coaching any other dedicated swimmer. Dorian is a young lady with a lot more swimming and living to do. I just hope I can make the experience as educational and wonderful as possible for her. I want every athlete I work with to take the most out of every experience they have—whether it’s at a big meet at Wheaton or in the Olympic stadium.

Going for gold: I believe any opportunity you have to meet the leaders in your field is something that should be taken advantage of. I am very excited to step out into the biggest sporting event in the world, surrounded by people with far more prestige and experience than I have and introduce myself. It’s a great learning opportunity. Wheaton gave me that confidence to put myself out there. I recall several opportunities in class or in sports where it would have been easier to sit back and not speak up. However, professors and coaches always motivated me to have the confidence to gain knowledge and experience from every situation.

Making waves: I was a psychology major at Wheaton with a focus in abnormal psychology and special education. My education led me to a wonderful career in special education both in the classroom and sports. I have been a Special Olympics volunteer and coach since 1998. Through the connections I made in youth sports, I was able to develop programs that led me to my current position. I love the psychology of sports and the power of confidence to create positive results.