My family swims. We basically grew up in or around the water. We all taught swim lessons, spent summers as lifeguards, etc. We loved to watch swimming and diving in the Olympics and probably all dreamt of being on that podium. I remember watching when Greg Louganis hit his head. I remember watching the East German women and knowing that there was no way, even after years of training (big cheaters). In our family, swimming speed decreased with age (meaning my mom was fast, but my younger brother smoked us all) and medals increased. I swam competively for many years and loved it. Well, maybe I didn't love ALL the training, but I met some of my best friends in the pool (Hi, Amanda!). I would have loved to continue my swimming career in college. My high school swim coach desperately tried to convince me to be on the team, but going to UT would have made me the slowest person on the team and I would have killed myself to be that slow person. Not wanting to leave swimming behind, I "assisted" the Texas men's swim team. Basically I helped with timing meets, meeting possible recruits, etc. Really it was a big excuse to hang out with insanely cute and talented guys. I loved it. The coolest part was getting to meet amazing athletes like Jenny Thompson (she came for a meet and was so nice) and watching the Olympics, and recognizing so many of the swimmers for so many years. The UT Men's Swim team always sends tons of guys to swim on the National team; it's really amazing. Now most of the swimmers I knew are coaches themselves. But, I still LOVE watching swimming races.
During the last Olympics, my girls were too young to appreciate anything other than the pageantry. They missed out on the awesomeness of Michael Phelps and Lezak's relay leg. This year, we're all watching the US Swimming trials and loving every minute of it. We pick our favorites- Phelps, Lochte, Brendan Hansen, Matt Grevers (that dude is TALL, have you seen him? Amazing), Natalie Coughlin, and waiting for one of my favorites, Darla Torres to swim. I miss some of the "older crowd," like Aaron Peirsol. That guy was amazing, a Longhorn, and a super cutie! It's been great to take time to explain each stroke to my girls. I tell them which strokes mommy used to swim and why the swimmers kick like that. I feel like I'm passing part of my family's history to them. Honestly, they could be faster than any of us ever hoped to be. Em is an amazing swimmer; naturally gifted. M took a little longer, but is now showing real promise. It's taking every ounce of restraint to not put them in any meets. I want to grow their love for swimming. I know that you have to really love the sport first. It takes so many hours of training that if you don't love it, you'll leave it. I'm hoping that watching the Olympics will start a fire in them. If not for swimming, for something else (preferrably something that isn't too dangerous!).
Likewise amazing is how quicky they built the swimming facility on the floor of the arena. It's the fastest above ground pool ever! Plus, the flames that shoot out intermittently on deck are pretty dang cool. I told my husband that we need to add some deck flames to our backyard pool. He mentioned something about zoning and fire risk, blah blah blah.