Last night Olympic swimmer and Arlingtonian Torri Huske was greeted at Dulles International Airport by 40 friends and family members.
The 18-year-old Yorktown High School grad flew back from Tokyo Olympics after competing in three swimming contests, earning a silver medal in one event, as part of the U.S. women’s 4×100 medley relay team, and narrowly missing the podium in the individual 100-meter butterfly race.
From Dulles, her friends drove her almost all the way home — but just before reaching their destination, feigned a wrong turn and ended up in the parking lot of Glebe Elementary School.
There, she was surprised by the flashing lights of Arlington police and fire trucks — the latter of which had hoisted a 50-foot American flag in the air. Below were somewhere between 200 and 300 family members, friends, teammates from Arlington Aquatics Club and Yorktown High School, as well as younger AAC swimmers, her second-grade teacher and other Arlington Public Schools staff who helped the Huskes through the years.
“It was a magical night,” her father, Jim Huske, tells ARLnow.
The event was organized by the Arlington Aquatics Club, offered by Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and the club with which Torri has swam since she was five years old. Although the Huskes knew the surprise event was coming, they didn’t know how many people to expect. And news of the surprise greeting spread quickly.
“I think I knew 80% of the people there,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) August 3, 2021
Cheering fans held glow sticks and signs, and Torri took photos with young swimmers who look up to her, Parks Department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said. The fire department gave her an honorary shirt and patch.
“Everyone was so excited for her and there was so much joy in the air,” she said. “Torri made a beeline for Evan Stiles, her coach, to give him a big hug when she got out of the car.”
Stiles has been her coach for the last four years, Huske said. He credited him, and all of Torri’s coaches, as well as the local connections who helped Torri find suitable pools to practice in, and APS staff for getting his daughter to the Olympics.
“Everybody has a little piece of that medal, whether they realize it or not, and she knows,” Huske said.
He added that his family is “so proud of her of her swimming. She always wants to do better. She gave it her best at that time, she’s looking forward to the opportunity to represent America again. We’re so proud of how she handled it. At 18, all those young kids, they all banded together, and all helped each other. They did a phenomenal job to support each other, from soup to nuts.”
In an Instagram post, Huske said she is “so grateful for my first Olympic experience and the people that made it so special. There is no better team on earth and no country I’d rather represent. Thank you to everyone that helped me get to this point in my life.”
Last night was a homecoming for an Olympic athlete. But in the next few weeks, Torri is planning to plunge back into regular young-adult things, including catching up on a month of summer she couldn’t spend with her friends before they go their separate ways for college. The swimmer is bound for Stanford University.
“She’s very excited about seeing her friends before they go to school,” Jim said. “Everyone’s going around the country.”
And all her friends are “incredible,” from certified EMTs to singers, he said.
“Torri doesn’t see herself as special,” he said. “All of these friends are so accomplished. They’re great in something else, and she knows she’s no more special than them… It keeps her grounded.”
She takes that same energy to the pool, he said. Huske said his daughter has always been able to keep what happens in the pool separate from what happens outside of it. And, she is always focused on doing better. Four hours after her individual butterfly race, she told her dad — it was 2:30 a.m. in the U.S. — that she “just has to keep working hard.”
“I’m blown away that she had so much composure,” he said. “She likes the pressure… She feeds off the energy of the crowd… She’s learned to channel it.”
Despite the highs of being on an Olympic team in a foreign country, and earning a silver medal, Huske said the last 10 days have been grueling and she’s now trying to relax.
Today, she is baking lemon bars.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) August 3, 2021
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village