Springfield, MO – A journey starting at just ten years old, Haven Shepherd knew swimming was her sport.

Giving up track to race in the water, Shepherd’s parents supported her throughout her journey growing up in Carthage.

“My mom was getting up with me at 4:30 in the morning,” Shepherd said.

She drove me over to Webb City, and I was only swimming for 90 minutes, so it was a big family commitment. It was easy for them though because they knew I loved it so much.”

Years of training later, the Tokyo Olympics were on the horizon for Shepherd. Working tirelessly at her craft, she finally got the life-changing call.

“I was so happy when I found out I made the Tokyo team,” Shepherd said.

“I was really surprised at first. After getting home from Tokyo, I had this big fire lit under me, and I used that to get me excited for making the Paris team in 2024.”

With her family and country behind her, there’s nothing stopping Haven. Despite the home schooling and the years worth of athletic rigor, Haven said she has no regrets.

“I look back and I’m so grateful for everything,” Shepherd said.

“I’ve gotten to experience many things a lot of teenagers probably wouldn’t have.”