Cal Sophomore Cassidy Bayer to Take Time Off from Swimming

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

University of California sophomore Cassidy Bayer announced Saturday that she is taking a hiatus from swimming.

The butterflier/freestyler qualified for Olympics Trials at age 16 in 2016, finishing third and fourth in the butterfly events. But injuries have slowed her progress, and despite being an important piece for the reigning NCAA runner-up, Bayer is stepping away from the pool to treat an eating disorder.

“So as I ‘ring in the New Year’ I will press pause and take a step back from the sport I love to seek care for my eating disorder and the voices within my head that drive it,” Bayer posted in a moving Instagram post. “… As I go through this process I know I have the love and support from my family, friends, teammates, coach’s [sic], and doctors and that’s really all I need!”

 

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“you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” -Christopher Robin ••• I was first introduced to this quote by my age group swim coach Jeff King. Jeff would always use these magical words to remind me of my bravery, strength, and wisdom during times I doubted my physical/mental capabilities needed to reach the goals I set for myself. Within no time Robins quote became a favorite of mine because it repeatedly helped reassure me of my mental and physical strength both in and out of the pool. Cheesy? Yes…but oh well🤷🏼‍♀️! I bought into those inspiring words when I would struggle in order to accomplish the goals I set for myself. Yet, as we grow our mindsets change and unfortunately most obstacles that arise in life can’t be fixed by moving quotes. I wish. ••• Life becomes a little more complicated then it was as a kid. We perceive things differently, we make our own decisions, and unexpected obstacles arise! For me, the obstacle I have battled for quite sometime has left me constantly unsure of my bravery, strength, and wisdom. ••• For sometime now I have simply fought myself and no one else. I have attempted to continuously use Robins motivational words to reach the unstoppable and competitive self I believe I was as a younger girl. However, Robins wise words and the meaning behind them have slowly disappeared in the sea of voices in my head. ••• That being said, motivational quotes can’t solve my problems or anyone’s for that matter. But, learning how to take action by asking for additional help can. So as I “ring in the New Year” I will press pause and take a step back from the sport I love to seek care for my eating disorder and the voices within my head that drive it. In doing so, I hope Robin’s wise words will come back to me during treatment. ••• As I go through this process I know I have the love and support from my family, friends, teammates, coach’s, and doctors and that’s really all I need! SO, to conclude this horrifically long caption…I will be taking a break from social media:)happy new year my friends❤️ & as always go bears🐻

A post shared by Cassidy Bayer (@cassidy_bayer) on

Cassidy Bayer has been a significant part of the Golden Bears this season, even as she’s struggled personally. She posted the team’s third-fastest time in the 200 fly, fourth in the 100 fly, fifth in the 200 free and sixth in the 500. She finished seventh at the Pac-12 Championships in the 200 fly as a freshman last spring and scored points at NCAAs in 15th in that event.

The native of Alexandria, Va., who swam for Nation’s Capital Swim Club, has been on the national scene since she was 12, competing in the World Junior Championship in 2015. At 16, she finished fourth at Olympic Trials in the 100 fly (behind idol Dana Vollmer) and third in the 200 fly, missing out on a trip to Rio behind Cammile Adams and Hali Flickinger. Her times in the 15-16 age group trail only the legendary Mary T. Meagher.

In the fall of 2016, though, Bayer suffered a freak accident in a powder puff football game, tearing the meniscus in her knee for the first of three times and wiping out her junior campaign at West Potomac High School. Combined with a bout of illness in 2017, it was the start of an arduous process for Bayer to get back to her age-group brilliance.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Beth Hofmann

    Cassidy Bayer – take your time, get well, and remember “it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”

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