Olympic swimmer has a connection to Vashon

The granddaughter of a longtime Islander has qualified to swim at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Ariana Kukors, the 23-year-old granddaughter of Islander Emma Kukors, placed second 200-meter individual medley at the Olympic trials last month, earning a spot in the summer games.

“She is so excited, so excited,” said Emma, reached at home.

Ariana, a graduate of Auburn Mountainview High School, is a competitive swimmer who has won eight international medals. She tried for a spot on the Olympic team four years ago, but came in third, missing the Olympics by eight-hundredths of a second.

At the Olympic trials last month, Ariana was nervous but came through, Emma said.

“She told me she was pretty nervous … about her swim, could she make it to or not, but she did,” Emma said. “I’m very, very happy and proud of her.”

Emma, 90, works at Sawbones. She and her family moved to Vashon in 1951, seven years after fleeing their hometown in Latvia after it was invaded by the Soviet Union.

Emma said she attended a celebration for her granddaughter last week in Auburn. Ariana will train with the Olympic team in France before heading to London.

“They said when she comes back it will be bigger party,” Emma said.


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