UPDATE: Scott, I forgot to include the link Ogged sent me. I will get this blogging thing down someday : [Link]
Ogged sent me this last night, a New York Times article about 1996 silver medalist, Allison Wagner, who swam in the Santa Clara meet over the weekend. Denied a gold medal in 1996 by a competitor Michelle Smith; (Ireland), who was later suspended for fudging a urine sample, what followed for Allison was the process of trying to get a life and doing so.
Allison swam in two events this past weekend, the 100m fly posting a time of 1:04.01 and placing 39th overall, then swimming the 100m free swimming in a time of 57.99 placing 32. Her split split times were quite symmetrical a swell, she went out in a 28:00 and came back in a 29.99. (I can't do that! I start of slow and finish slower.)
This profile is essentially about a 30-year-old woman coming back to swimming after an eventful life full of both disharmony and accomplishment. Disharmony includes, an eating disorder, racing athletes who cheated, having no career to go post Olympics which is something I have seen myself in two other Olympic athletes I have met. Now, since I have provided a negative, her is a positive: She got a degree in Buddhist psychology, she has traveled the world and she is back to swimming once again feeling the joy that she had once felt when she was 8-years-old.
So often you hear about people like Popov, Evans, Thorpe and others who just walk away from the pool in a sigh of relief. In this case it is the opposite.
Now, I love breaststroke pictures so I include one of Allison from 1996. Here is what Allison would look like with an Amish beard. :-)