It was late last night and my family had gone to bed. The only light in the family room was the glowing flash and flicker from the TV across from where I sat sprawled out in the sofa chair. We had just returned from a weekend trip to New York and the car ride had delivered my body the dull throbbing ache that I can only presume one would get from a flight to say – New Zealand. My eyes were heavy as I wound down to the sound of Bob Costas sending the Olympic coverage out to the pool for some highly anticipated swimming races.
I listened as they profiled the story of the young, yet very focused and mature, Missy Franklin. This American swimmer, who has grown up idolizing U.S. Olympic great Natalie Coughlin for her success in the 100m backstroke, was set to compete for gold in the 100m backstroke finals, along with a slate of phenomenal swimmers. In fact, the five top times ever recorded in the event were set by Franklin and her competitors in the final. What made last night’s competition so unique, however, was that Franklin was also swimming a semifinal race only a mere ten minutes before the 100m backstroke final. This would be the shortest rest time for any swimmer between events in Olympic history. It was only half of the 20 minutes Michael Phelps got between two races in Beijing, and that was considered an incredible feat.
As I watched her finish her semifinal (she qualified for the 8th and final spot in the finals for that event), I thought to myself I am so tired and I really ought to be going to bed. But then the cameras started following her, explaining that she only had ten minutes rest before having to jump in the pool again for the medal race. I suddenly became intrigued as I watched her shaking the water out of her ears and then jumping into a side pool for a few cool down laps that looked faster than my top swimming speed (which is not very fast, by the way). Fortunately, in my tired state, I had missed NBC’s spoiler of the upcoming race, so I was now sitting up on the edge of my seat.See the full article and share your thoughts here.