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Olympic Moments (May-June 2012)

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Few things are as emotional as watching a swimmer look to the scoreboard after touching the wall in the race of a lifetime. The sheer tonnage of toil spanning years the missed vacations, the freakishly scheduled adolescence, the painall add up to a single moment and, by the looks on their faces, these swimmers would do it all over again. That single moment seems to make all the sacrifices worth it.

These moments of glory are not limited to Olympiansyou can see it in swimmers at B meets, developmental meets, high school championships, Masters meetspretty much anywhere swimmers race. And depending on the circumstances, it may be one of many races of a lifetime. After all, the road is longand advances in training, nutrition and sports science have extended the run for all of us.

But watching the elite athletes in our sport can be an out-of-body experience. Many of us know what it feels like to swim efficiently: We train hard, we compete, we cut back on beer and chocolate during our tapers. But seeing the elites swim (thanks to advances in underwater videography) can be like seeing the strokes for the first time. The words grace, beauty and freakin fast seem inadequate at best.

USMS counts a number of Olympiansfrom all over the world and from different sportsin its current and former membership rolls. (For a list, see usms. org/hist/oly.) And this year, more than a dozen USMS members have made Olympic Trials cuts and are eligible to compete in Omaha.

With more than 1800 swimmers vying for 52 spots, odds of an Olympic berth are long for everyone. As fans and members of the greater swimming community gather to cheer for their favorite swimmers, we're especially thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of those who've been part of the USMS family.

Three days later, some of us will jump into that same water in Omaha and reach for our own Olympic moments. Although most of us wont ever share our moments with millions of television viewers, we get to share them with our teammates and loved ones, which makes all our sacrificesdietary or otherwiseso worth it.

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Updated July 1st, 2014 at 11:48 AM by Editor

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