Olympian Bella Sims holds the silver medal she won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while competing for the U.S. women’s swim team in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. Sims competed in the first heat of the event, swimming her 200m portion of the relay in 1:58.59. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

VALE - Bella Sims, a member of the U.S. Olympic women’s swim team and silver medalist, was the person everyone wanted to meet on Tuesday, Aug. 10, at the Vale City Pool. The first-time Olympian signed autographs, posed for photos and took part in a series of playful, fun-filled races against other young local swimmers.

Sims, 16, earned a silver medal the 2021 Tokyo Olympics for competing in the first heat of the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay on Wednesday, July 28, with a time of 1:58.59. Sims recently returned from Tokyo and came to Ontario to spend time with her grandparents, Sherri and Dennis Hironaka, her aunt Lynn McKinney and other friends from the area.

The city of Ontario doesn’t have a pool, so Sims came to the Vale City Pool to train in the mornings during her visit. Sims will soon return to Las Vegas, the place she calls home, to continue her training.

A crowd waits in line at the Vale City Pool to open so they can meet 16-year-old Olympic swimmer and silver medalist Bella Sims on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims poses with a local family for a photo op at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

A group of young swimmers take part in a playful race against Olympian Bella Sims into the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

16-year-old Olympic ilver medalist Bella Sims swims back to the deep end of the Vale City Pool to take part in another playful race against local teenage swimmers on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims laughs as she takes a gold marker to sign more autographs for local admirers at the Vale Public Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims smiles at her friend Ashlyn Hung before they compete in a playful race at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims laughs alongside her grandmother Sherri Hironaka, who is also one of her top fans and supporters, at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Hironaka and her husband Dennis live in Ontario. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims poses with a two local boys for a photo op at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims hands back a cell phone she just autographed for a local fan at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

An Idaho News 6 reporter out of Boise interviews Olympian Bella Sims during her visit to the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims stands with her grandmother Sherri Hironaka, right, and close family friend Ruth Harada at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Harada was waiting on the front steps of the Vale City Pool to be one of the first people to arrive to see Sims. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

16-year-old USA Olympic swimmer and silver medalist Bella Sims sits near the deep end of the Vale City Pool before taking part in another playful race against some young local swimmers on Tuesday, Aug. 11. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

A lifeguard watches over the deep end of the Vale City Pool as young swimmers warm up to compete in a series of playful races against Olympic swimmer and silver medalists Bella Sims on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

16-year-old USA Olympic swimmer and silver medalist Bella Sims dives into the deep end of the Vale City Pool as the crowd watches from the shallow end on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Olympian Bella Sims rests with the other swimmers after finishing a playful race at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

RELATED COVERAGE:

From a Vale swimming pool to the Tokyo Olympics

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