Did Selling Sunset’s Emma Hernan Really Qualify For the Olympics?


In episode three of the fifth season of Selling Sunset, real estate agent Emma Hernan tells her new client, Micah, that she once qualified for the Olympics as a swimmer. She doesn’t go into detail, and she doesn’t frequently talk about her swimming career publicly, but here’s what we know about her swimming journey.

Hernan talked about her Olympic qualification on Life Stories With Joanna Garzilli in an episode called “Emma Hernan Top Model and Angel Investor on a Woman’s Path to Success.” In a video of the interview, which seems to have taken place in 2020 before she joined Selling Sunset, Hernan talks about her swimming background. She says that she started swimming when she was 6 years old. Hernan was inspired by her mother, who was a famous swimmer in their town of Scituate, Mass. Hernan said she also quickly started breaking records as a child, explaining, “I ended up getting a time that qualified for the Olympics.” Her discipline was backstroke, though she hasn’t given any info on how fast her Olympic qualifying time was.

Hernan told Garzilli that when she was 16, she gave up swimming to go be a model in Paris. Hernan has not spoken about where she attended college, but she appears in the digital version of the 2008 freshman record at the University of Rhode Island, and she listed her hobbies as crafts and photography.

To be a part of the USA Swimming team at the Olympics, you need to have a fast enough time to compete at the Olympic trials and then come in first or second in your event. Hernan doesn’t appear in the list of people who competed at the 2008 US Olympic trials or the 2004 Olympic trials. It’s possible she meant that her time was fast enough to qualify for the US Olympic trials but then decided not to compete. It’s also possible that her time qualified her for a team from another country, although she’s never publicly claimed citizenship for anywhere besides the United States.

Hernan has never posted about swimming on her Instagram, where the oldest posts date back to 2014. Many of her early posts are photos of her in swimwear, but she doesn’t mention her own athletic experience in the water.

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