Former UIC Swimmer Steve Yemm Ready for Olympic Trials

Former UIC swimmer Steve Yemm holds the Horizon League record in the 100 fly (47.65).
Former UIC swimmer Steve Yemm holds the Horizon League record in the 100 fly (47.65).

June 21, 2012

CHICAGO – One of UIC’s most decorated former swimmers, Steve Yemm, is set to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Trials, taking place June 25 – July 2, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. There, Yemm will be competing in the 100 and the 200 butterfly after qualifying last August at the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.

Preliminaries for both the 100 and 200 fly are set for Saturday, June 30 and Wednesday, June 27, respectively. The fastest 16 athletes will advance to the semifinal, which will be held the same day of each preliminary, with the top eight semifinalists moving on to the final.

The final for the 100 fly will be on Sunday, July 1, and the final for the 200 fly will take place Thursday, June 28. The top two in each event will go on to the London Summer Olympic Games and will be announced at approximately 10 p.m. CST on July 2. The results can be found on the USA Swimming website (

Yemm holds UIC’s school records in the 100 fly (47.65 seconds), 200 fly (1:45.18) and 100 Back (49.32 seconds).

Yemm is starting to rest in preparation for the meet, but ordinarily a typical day for the athlete involves six hours of training, five of which are spent in the pool.

“I’ve been working hard for the last year, and I think it’s all going to come together during trials,” said Yemm. “It’s important to know why you’re doing something—to have a purpose. My purpose is to be prepared for the meet in Omaha.”

According to Yemm, his biggest accomplishment to date was winning the 2009 Horizon League Team Championship as a member of the Flames.

“Hopefully the Olympic Trials will be my next biggest one,” says Yemm. “If I am confident in anything, it’s in my training. I set some goals a couple years back, and I’m finding myself exactly where I wanted to be at this time. [UIC’s] Coach Moniak told me to just get out there and have fun with it. He also told me that if you put the work into something, it will come to pass.”

Yemm has been swimming since he was six years old, following in the steps of his older siblings, also heavily involved in the sport. He competed for 11 years for the Sterling Stingrays and served as his high school team’s captain. Yemm’s father inspired him to keep swimming this last year up until the trials. After graduation, both of his parents acted as the support group he previously had on the UIC swimming team.

This isn’t the first time a UIC athlete has competed in the Olympic Trials -- Blake Booher swam the 50 Freestyle during the previous Summer Games in 2008.

The location of the trials, Omaha’s CenturyLink Center, seats 13,200 spectators. The competition will take place in a 50-meter, ten-lane pool, although only eight will be used for this event. During the 2008 Olympic Trials, nine world records were set in Omaha. At the trials, Yemm will be amongst other Olympic hopefuls such as five-time Gold Medalist Aaron Piersol and 14-time Gold Medalist Michael Phelps.