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Gold in the Water

     by Mullen, P.H.

Gold in the Water

Every four years the world witnesses the stunning displays of athleticism that take place during the Summer Olympics. While some Olympic sports such as basketball and baseball are in the forefront of many sports enthusiasts year-round, swimming is often forgotten, only to be rediscovered during the Olympics. For the swimmers, a decade of hard work may culminate in one race, a race that might only last 60 seconds. The 2000 Summer Olympics were a special event where the traditional power of the United States swim team took on the upstart Australians on their own turf. Gold in the Water follows the journeys of the swimmers and coaches of the storied Santa Clara Swim Club attempting to make the US Olympic team. Could Tom Wilkens overcome his lack of natural talent and make the team? Could Dara Torres, who had given swimming up seven years earlier, make an improbable comeback at the age of 32? Kurt Grote had already been to the Olympics and won a world championship; was his time past or could he return to international glory? Gold in the Water follows these individuals and their hard-driving coach Dick Jochums through years of preparation leading up to the US Olympic Trials in Indianapolis and the 2000 Games themselves. 

Gold in the Water is an intimate look inside the preparations that world class athletes take to prepare themselves for the Olympic trials. The author estimates than in preparation for the Sydney games many of the swimmers profiled probably swam the entire distance from Los Angeles to Sydney and back. Gold in the Water is a fun and interesting read, and anyone with an interest in swimming or the Olympic Games should enjoy it.

Reviewed by pk, 06/02. Other reviews by pk.