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American swimmer Sierra Schmidt is competing this week at the Olympic swim trials in Omaha, Nebraska, but she’s garnering attention online for her poolside activity: incredibly energetic dance routines featuring choreography originated by K-pop girl group Twice.
Schmidt, who is 23 years old, is well-known for her pre-race dancing habit, which Swimming World reported on in 2015. This week, footage of Schmidt dancing before races has circulated on Twitter, with people demanding to know what she was listening to.
In a clip posted to Twitter on Monday by the official NBC Olympics account, Schmidt can be seen getting her groove on prior to the 1500M race.
Though Schmidt listens to music in her headphones ahead of races, fans were quick to recognize the dance moves from Twice’s 2016 single “Cheer Up.”
— 🤍TWICE LOCKDOWN🍹 | Taste of Love🍹🤍 (@Queen_Dahyun_) June 17, 2021
Though Schmidt hasn’t explicitly confirmed that she was listening to Twice before her race, the swimmer retweeted a tweet from PopSugar on Thursday that said, “We see you dancing to @JYPETWICE.”
Twice is a nine-member K-pop girl group that debuted under the entertainment company JYP Entertainment in 2015. The group most recently released an EP titled “Taste of Love,” with the lead single “Alcohol-Free.”
On Twitter and TikTok, videos of Schmidt performing the choreography to “Cheer Up,” as well as the group’s 2017 single “Likey,” circulated among fans who layered the footage with the original songs.
“Glad to see a once at the Olympic trials,” the on-screen caption of one viral TikTok reads, referencing the official name for Twice fans — Once.
Sierra Schmidt is an American swimmer and she is also dancing to “LIKEY” by TWICE as her Pre-race warm up.
— Alcohol Free 🍹 (@youngjaee__) June 17, 2021
Schmidt, a University of Michigan student who ranked as one of the top 10 swimmers in the United States in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter free in 2019, is so well-known for her dancing habit to the extent that she’s earned the moniker “Dancing Queen,” KDSK reported.
While Schmidt didn’t qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle finals, her next race is Friday morning in the 800m freestyle prelims, PopSugar reported.
Earlier in the week, Schmidt shared her 2021 dance playlist on Twitter. Judging by her selections, which include music not only by Twice but other K-pop groups like Red Velvet, I.O.I, Blackpink, and Everglow, Schmidt isn’t just a top-ranked swimmer, she’s also well-versed in K-pop stardom.