Wait, so did Emma from Selling Sunset actually qualify for the Olympics as a swimmer?
According to one website, it’s all a lie!!
We know Emma from Selling Sunset as a glamorous model who never has a hair out of place, sells empanadas on the side and gets right in the drama – so it was a bit of a shock in season five when she said she used to be a swimming pro.
Yep, she just casually dropped into conversation that backstroke is her special talent and she even once qualified for the Olympics, so yeah, she must be seriously good. This was rogue from her and really came out the blue, so you can’t blame anyone for wanting to know more.
Right, so here’s a deep dive (sorry) into the history of Emma and her swimming career before Selling Sunset. Scandal: People are saying it’s not all it seems.
Emma says she was a swimming pro before Selling Sunset, and qualified for the Olympics
In season five of the show, Emma is flirting with developer Micah when she casually drops into conversation that she was a swimming pro and specialised in backstroke. She says she was so good that at her peak, she qualified for the Olympics. She has spoken about this on an episode of Life Stories With Joanna Garzilli called Emma Hernan Top Model and Angel Investor on a Woman’s Path to Success. Emma says she started swimming when she was six, inspired by her mother who was a famous swimmer in their home town. “I ended up getting a time that qualified for the Olympics,” she said.
“My mom was this famous swimmer in our town, broke all of the records,” she said in the episode. “So she put me in it at six and it was Eight & Under so I was at the younger age and I came in and I took right after her, was like a fish in the water, and started breaking all of the records at six-years-old. And it was really important for me because my mom was so proud of me, she was there right with me.
“She had all of the best times in backstroke and that ended up being my stroke as well, which is crazy. So I started, like, people would come just to watch me swim. As I got older as well, I had all the records, I ended up getting a time that qualified for the Olympics.”
She later goes on to say she gave up swimming aged 16 to pursue modelling in Paris. That’s literally all the evidence out there to prove her story, she’s never posted about swimming and she doesn’t appear on the site which lists everyone who competed at the US Olympic trials in 2004 or 2008 – which would have been the years she was active as a swimmer.
But wait, is it even true?
One website has really done the research here, and pretty much claims Emma story is a lie. In an article investigating the claims, SwimSwam says it was “unable to find anything even close” to supporting Emma’s story. “It’s unclear exactly what Hernan meant when she said that she swam a time that qualified for the Olympics,” the article reads. “In order to qualify for the Olympics as an American, you must first qualify for Olympic Trials and then in order to qualify for the Olympic team, you must place within the top two in an individual event at Trials while also swimming under the FINA A standard. But even on a more generous interpretation of that standard, we were unable to find anything even close.”
The site was unable to locate any records of someone named Emma Hernan racing in USA Swimming competition in the United States and found no results for her on the USA Swimming database, the swimcloud database or the swimrankings database. They even asked local swim coaches from that time who said they would “100 per cent know her if she was from that area back in the 2004-2008 days” and they had no recollection of Emma. Yikes.
The likelihood is here, that she got a time that hypothetically would have qualified for the Olympics, but she may not have actually been to qualifiers. But it’s weird that there is no evidence for her from any competitions and coaches don’t know who she is. A scandal?!
Season five of Selling Sunset is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.