Nicholas Dworet was an All-County swimmer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a college scholarship in hand and Olympic aspirations.
And then, in an instant, it was all taken away from him.
Dworet, a senior, was one of the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at the high school on Wednesday. He was 17.
Dworet was one of the top short-distance high school swimmers in Broward County over the past two years and had success at the state level as well. He finished fifth in November at the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships in the 100-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 46.53 seconds, according to his College Swimming profile. The Miami Herald named him as a third-team All-County swimmer this season.
“He dreamed of making the Olympic swim team and going to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” the Dworet family wrote in a statement posted to father Mitchell Dworet’s Facebook page Friday morning. “He believed he could accomplish anything as long as he tried his best.”
Dworet had committed to swim on an athletic scholarship at the University of Indianapolis and was at the school on Jan. 20 for one of the team’s home meets. Jason Hite, the university’s swimming and diving coach, said in a statement Thursday on the school’s athletic website that Dworet’s positivity, energy and support for what would have eventually been his new teammates was easily noticed.
“He really felt like he had a family in the team,” Hite said, “and was really excited about what we're doing up here."
Rob Manuel, the president at the university, said in a statement Thursday that he was saddened by the news and will be offerring support to Dworet’s family.
“Nick’s death is a reminder that we are connected to the larger world,” Manuel said, “and when tragedy hits in places around the world, it oftentimes affects us at home.”