Hailing from the United States, Nelson is a symbol of excellence in he world of competitive swimming through her relentless drive to push the boundaries of what she can achieve in the sport. 

First a competitive gymnast, once the Madison, Wisconsin native found the pool she knew she was meant to be in the water. With just under a month to go to the start of another Swimming World Cup season, we catch up with the 25-year-old.

How does it feel coming in as the defending overall World Aquatics Swimming World Cup champion? 

Image Source: Beata Nelson and Dylan Carter with their overall 2022 Swimming World Cup prize checks (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

I had such an amazing experience last year and was thrilled to come away from the series as the overall champion. I see the World Cup this year as a great opportunity to prepare for a very important year of long-course racing. I came in last year with very few expectations and a focus on race execution. I plan to do the same this year. 

With the likes of swimming legends Sarah Sjostrom and a host of world titlist holders such as Kylie, Kaylee, Lani and Ruta signed on for the complete 2023 tour, what is it going to take to win this year’s overall title? 

Image Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

I have always believed that racing the best brings out the best in yourself. There are some incredible talents that are planning on racing this year, as there are every year. Winning the World Cup title is always a challenge because the field is always stacked.

To give myself the best chance for success, the less I worry about those around me and the more I stay focused on what I can control, the better. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful people that the swimming community has from around the world all together again. 

You had incredible success last year in the 25m pool; now with the 2023 World Cup season being long course what opportunities does this present for you? It seems like this would be a great test for the upcoming Doha Worlds and Paris 2024 Olympic trials?

Image Source: Michael P. Hall/michaelphall.ca/World Aquatics

You’re absolutely right. It will be a great test for this upcoming year full of long course opportunities.  I absolutely love racing and training short course metres, however, many of my goals in my professional career are long course metre-focused. Coming off a tough end to the season this summer with illness and injury I just wanted to stay healthy and get as much racing experience as I can leading into this coming year. 

With this year’s tour visiting Berlin, Athens and Budapest are you especially interested in racing in one of these cities? If so, why?

Image Source: Mike Lewis/World Aquatics

I have been to both Berlin and Budapest so I would have to say I’m most excited about racing in Athens. I have never been to Greece before. The country is the birthplace of the Olympic Games & full of ancient history which is so interesting to me. I look forward to going to all three stops, Berlin and Budapest when I was there last were beautiful and I look forward to experiencing Athens for the first time. 

It looks as though we will be staying in the same hotel in Budapest as the 2019 Covid racing season. Do you have any special memories from the hotel, Margaret Island, or Budapest as a whole?

Image Source: Mike Lewis/World Aquatics

Our time in Budapest during the 2019 season was wild. The world was in the middle of a global pandemic and we spent weeks weeks on Margaret Island with our teammates, basically in the hotel exclusively. I made so many lifelong friends during that experience. We played a lot of card games, took walks around the island and got to race at a time when there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to train or compete. It was a long time from home and isolated but we did do a bus tour of the city and it was beautiful. Another city full of history. I look forward to going back. 


Contributing: Gunnar Bentz