Winnetka family of Olympian Conor Dwyer to cheer him on in London
Family members of Olympian Conor Dwyer sport T-shirts made to honor the swimmer, who will compete in the 400-meter freestyle and as part of USA's 800-meter freestyle relay team. | Contributed photo
Updated: August 27, 2012 10:43AM
WINNETKA — If the races in which Winnetka’s Conor Dwyer is competing in the London Olympics are close, don’t expect to see his mother screaming him on in the stands.
She’s more likely to be covering her eyes.
“I get so nervous,” Jeannie Dwyer said. “It’s very stressful watching your son swimming.”
“During the 400 free (during the Olympic trials earlier this month in Omaha), I had to look down at the end.”
Dwyer finished that tight race with a strong final lap to quality for the Olympics. He also qualified to swim the 200 x 4 freestyle relay as part of a team with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens.
It should be easy to sport Conor Dwyer supporters in the stand. Jeannie Dwyer and some 40 members of the family will be wearing Conor Dwyer T-shirts.
Besides the T-shirts, family members will also be sporting a blue rubber wristband with Conor’s name and the Olympic rings in white.
Besides Conor Dwyer’s parents, three 6-foot-5-inch brothers and sister, his aunt may also be in the stands. Dinny Dwyer, a Realtor in Winnetka, said she and her husband and their children are going to London. As of last week, the family had flight tickets but no event tickets.
“We’re trying to get tickets to the events,” she said, adding that they were told there’s a good chance tickets will be available to Conor’s events in London.
Those Dwyer T-shirts, designed by the sister of Conor’s father Patrick, come in red, white or blue with Dwyer’s name, the Olympic rings and 2012. A small Florida gator on the right sleeve references Dwyer’s alma mater, University of Florida, although it doesn’t reference his other former school, Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
At first, family members were the only ones ordering them, but someone suggested putting the shirts for sale on a website and within a short time, 300 were snapped up.
“People here watching the events will be wearing them,” Jennie Dwyer said.
But don’t try to get one yourself. According to the manufacturer’s website, the company is no longer accepting orders for the shirts.
Although Jeannie and Patrick Dwyer leave for London on July 26, they likely won’t see Conor until after he swims his events. “The swimmers are pretty regimented,” Jeannie Dwyer said, which is OK with her.
“My job is to cheer him on and encourage him,” she said.
She said the swimmers were in France training and getting used to the time zone last week but arrived in London Monday.
Conor Dwyer will swim in the 400-meter freestyle on Saturday and in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay next Tuesday.
When it comes to swimming, Jeannie Dwyer is not a typical parent. She earned All American honors in swimming at Florida State, the top rival to her son’s University of Florida. She and her husband swim four times a week and compete with Evanston Catfish Masters.
This is Jeannie Dwyer’s first Olympics, although she said her parents and sister had attended the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. While she and her husband will be focusing on swimming events in London, they do have tickets to badminton, volleyball and soccer. They hope to land some water polo tickets as well.
And after next Tuesday, Jeannie Dwyer will be able to focus all her attention on those events with a more relaxed attitude.