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Florida school shooting victim was star athlete who recently committed to college

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The lives of 17 people were senselessly cut short Wednesday in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

One of those lives that was taken was a star athlete and aspiring Olympian, Nicholas Dworet, 17.

Dworet had just committed to attend the University of Indianapolis on a swimming scholarship.

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Dworet was a star swimmer in high school, named second team All County in Broward.

His teammate, Guillermo Barrios, said Dworet was a leader and a great person.

“He was very positive and a very cheerful person, “ Barrios said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He was always trying to encourage people to push themselves to the limit. He was very dedicated and determined with swimming and he was a very kind person. …

“He was the leader of the team. He was team captain. He was very leaderlike and mature.”

Another teammate, Gianluca Savino, told the Sun-Sentinel that “a lot of people looked up to him.”

Dworet was an incredibly hard worker who was driven to succeed, according to those who knew him.

“I’m telling you from the bottom of my heart, he just took his life in his hands, and he chiseled and molded his life,” Andre Bailey, coach of TS Aquatics in Broward, told the Indianapolis Star.

“This is a kid who went from middle of the pack last year to being just lights out,” Bailey said. “He helped put our program on the map.”

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“Everybody loved him,” Bailey said. Dworet was a team captain and he was called the “swim daddy” because of how helpful he was to teammates.

“Nick’s death is a reminder that we are connected to the larger world, and when tragedy hits in places around the world, it oftentimes affects us at home,” University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel said. “I hope our Greyhound family can come together to engage the questions raised by these shootings and ensure that our community continues to be a safe place for all of our students, faculty and staff.”

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“He was, you know, just a very charismatic young man. He was so handsome — blond hair, blue eyes,” Nicole Nilsson, a family friend, told Time. “He had many, many friends because he was so funny and likable. He was a good student. He loved his family — got along great with his mom and dad and his brother. Just a great, great wonderful family.”

Dworet dreamed of competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics — he even made the 2020 Olympics logo his screensaver to keep his dream right in front of him, said Nilsson.

“He had very big aspirations,” Nilsson said. “That was what he was working for, and he would’ve made it.”

Said Bailey: “Please remind everyone that this young man is the epitome of a kid turning himself around.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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