Athlete of the Week: Bridie Dunn, Swimming and Diving


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Athlete of the Week: Bridie Dunn, Swimming and Diving

Lucy Baxter

Diving is a generally uncommon sport, but for junior Bridie Dunn, it has become one of her greatest passions. The international business and marketing major also serves as the Student Body Vice President outside of the pool. Dunn took her talents to Villanova from a town just outside of Washington DC. “My hometown didn’t do summer camps like most places”, Dunn said. “Everyone in my neighborhood went to the community pools and learned how to swim, dive, and play tennis.” It wasn’t until Dunn was older that she realized diving was something she truly loved.

. “Compared to other collegiate divers, I started pretty late,” she said. “Most divers start when they’re small kids and do it their whole life.” This expresses the career of Olympic swimmer, Katie Ledecky, who was from Dunn’s hometown and used to swim at her community pool. Dunn was different. 

“I started diving year-round my sophomore year of high school,” Dunn said. “Once I started focusing on my competitions, I became really passionate about this sport.”

Dunn’s freshman season at Villanova exemplified nothing but success. She won the Big East tournament in the one meter springboard and broke Villanova’s record for the three meter springboard. While also qualifying for the NCAAs, Dunn reflected, “I never even thought this was a possibility,” she said. “I expected third in the Big East.” Going into her sophomore year, there were high expectations for Dunn; but, after enduring a broken foot, the flu, and a concussion, there was a lot of work left for her to do.

“It was very humbling, and my time spent away from diving made me realize how much I love it,” she said.  “I learned to appreciate the little things like practice, my coaches and even lift.” Any practice Dunn was able to participate in was not up to the standards she was used to. “This lit a fire in me, and drove me to make the most out of my junior season,” Dunn said. 

Her dedication has truly paid off based on Dunn’s performance in the third meet of the season against women’s team rival, the University of Pennsylvania. She placed first in the one and three meter springboards while also breaking Villanova’s one meter record. She now holds both women’s diving records for Villanova. “I’m excited,” she said. “I can only go up from here. I really want to make the most out of my last two years of diving ever.” 

The camaraderie among all swimmers and divers has made a strong impact on Dunn’s attitude inside and outside the pool. “The men’s and women’s swimmers and divers are really one big team,” Dunn said. “It’s a very supportive and cohesive community, especially among the divers. Most people think these are individual sports, but, in reality, each individual is crucial to the all around team’s success.”