Rachel & Anna Zilinskas: Hometown Support

by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)

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Created June 29th, 2012 05:47:30 PM

Modified June 29th, 2012 05:47:30 PM

Written by Anna Zilinskas, Rachel's sister and an avid swimming enthusiast.

Read more of Anna and Rachel's entries from this week


There is only one word to describe the support from our small little hometown of Indiana, PA- overwhelming. When Rachel moved to Blue Bell, I don’t think we knew what to expect when it came to our hometown’s support. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised. The amount of text messages my family members and I have received this week is unbelievable. It is heartwarming and helpful to know that you all have supported our family throughout our endeavors and supported my sister as she continues to reach for her dreams.

Last week, Commissioner Rodney Ruddock asked mine and Rachel’s childhood friend to design a card big enough for all of Indiana to sign. Haley Stapleton delivered exactly that. A huge card with signatures and well wishes to my sister was brought out to Omaha and brought tears to our eyes when we saw all of the people who took the time out of their day to come and wish Rachel good luck. The office in which I am interning, Dr. Hilliard and Tarnoff’s, got a card and sent well wishes to Rachel as well. My dad’s football team wrote an uplifting card saying Rachel was an inspiration and ended their Wednesday night practice by cheering “Go Rachel!.” Other families and friends have sent cards of support and little gifts to congratulate Rach for all of her achievements and for that we thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, I don’t think we could ever explain how much your support means to us and how much it inspires us every day to keep working for the goals and working towards the dreams my sister and my family all have.

I am connecting you to two links: the first is of the entire Indiana High School saying good luck to Rachel before the trials, and the second is a video about the card that was made and the support that Indiana has for my sister. This is just a small portion of the backing that our town has given us. Again, from the bottom of our hearts- THANK YOU! On a previous FaceBook post my sister had thanked everyone by saying:

“Just received the card signed from everyone in Indiana. The support I have gotten from everybody has been incredible, literally bringing tears to my eyes. I'm so excited to be here, chasing my dream, and only hoping I can make you all proud.”

I am sure that everyone who sent a card or a warm wish to my sister would join me in saying “Rachel, you already have.”



Tonight we are headed to another exciting night of finals, this time with my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jimmy. We are so excited to watch prelims tomorrow and we will be letting you all know if/when her races will be televised. #SwimTrials2012