It started with a tap on my shoulder, in the middle of the Lima Holiday Swim Invite at the Lima YMCA. “I realize you’re interviewing winners from races,” a woman said to me. “But I wondered if I could tell you about my daughter.”

The daughter is Coldwater Cavaliers Senior Emily Prenger, and yes, she has a story to tell.

I also had a daughter swimming in the meet, two daughters, actually. When I mentioned Emily to my daughter, Grace, she immediately responded, “Oh yes! I saw her. She’s the one who started her races in the water.

She Started Her Races in the Water

That is correct. While everyone else was standing on a dive block, diving to start their races, Emily Prenger started in the water and pushed off from the side. From a racing standpoint, that’s a big disadvantage, as the dive is what propels a swimmer into the water and kickstarts the race. But for Emily, swimming is not about winning.

Swimming is a Success Story

You see, Emily is thankful she is even able to swim. Take a moment to watch her backstroke race, and you’ll find out more.

The accident, to which Color Commentator, Hunter Bell, and I refer in the video, happened December 7, 2018. The Daily Standard reported, “Six people were injured when an SUV carrying Coldwater High School swim team members struck the back of a tractor on Fleetfood Road.” Emily Prenger was the driver of that SUV. She and two others were taken by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

From Critical Condition to Today

The article said, “Prenger was pinned in the vehicle and appeared to be in critical condition.”

Today her twitter account shows a beautiful woman dressed up, perhaps for the prom, wearing a neck brace. But even that picture is a piece of her history. Now the neck brace is gone and while life will never be completely as it was before, she is thankful for the life she is living. Take a moment to find out more about the accident, the recovery process, and why Emily Prenger is thankful for life. You may be surprised to learn how long she wore the neck brace.

“Swim has always been my first love. I have always felt at home in the water.”

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