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Canton Olympian’s Dad: ‘We Never Expected This To Happen’

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: U.S. Olympian Allison Schmitt visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 04: U.S. Olympian Allison Schmitt visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - After watching his daughter, Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, compete in the London games, Canton resident Ralph Schmitt is back home, still in awe of the experience.

“We see her out there … but it’s almost like it’s a different person than our daughter, the one that is in our house,” Ralph Schmitt said. “It’s hard to connect the two, because when you see her on the internet or see her on television being interviewed, we think back to her growing up, and never expected this to happen.”

Ralph Schmitt said the whole family – he, his wife and their other four children – went to London to watch Allison compete and collect three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

“The best way I can describe it is surreal,” Schmitt said. “It was quite nerve-racking sitting there just saying, ‘Please, do well.’”

The family was unable to stay for Allison’s final race, the freestyle leg of the medley relay, but remained dedicated and caught it at home on Saturday. Ralph Schmitt said the six family members kept their phones off to avoid any spoilers.

Allison Schmitt will remain in London through the rest of the games and participate in the closing ceremonies.

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