Hope Floats… An Inspiring Story of My Niece

The Herald Journal printed a wonderful, inspirational article on my niece Hope.

The article starts out with “Her name is Hope. Not Hopeski or Hopey or Hopeinator; just Hope.  For some people, their name just seems like a perfect fit.  That can be said about Hope, whose full name is Hope Salonek…

Hope tried to walk away from swimming at the beginning of this season, but Charnstrom convinced her to join the team again using a simple strategy — by calling her Hope. He used to be the one who called her Hopeinator and the other nicknames.  ‘Just call me Hope,’ she insists.  So Charnstrom did, and she joined the team.”

The article goes on to say, “Anybody who has gone to a Watertown-Mayer/Delano (WMD) girls swimming meet during the last three fall seasons has probably noticed Hope. It’s difficult not to. Hope swims two junior varsity events — 50-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle relay — and tends to have all eyes on her at the end of both races.  At the start of both swims, Hope enters the water with a sit-down dive off the pool deck instead of off the block, and she is always the last swimmer to the wall at the finish. But, nobody seems to care. Instead, her teammates seem to feed off Hope’s swims. ‘When you have 50 girls on the team, it is hard to have cohesion and it’s hard for all of them to cheer because they are all doing their own thing, but, when Hope is swimming, everyone stops what they are doing,’ said WMD coach Chuck Charnstrom.

‘The best description is reverse cheerleader, in that she is able to get everyone else to cheer and be a lot more cohesive, and is a rallying-point for the girls,’ said Charnstrom”

More cohesive.  A rallying point.  We all need a Hope on our team.

Proud of you Hope!