The snappy dresser in the middle of the photo is John Quinn, my 200 SCM relay partner who inspired me to swim a personal best in the 200-free relay at the 2008 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships.
The time I posted was a 28.13 nearly a full second faster than my previous personal best that I set a month earlier at the UCLA meet.
Here is how it went: I was nervous before the race, my pulse rate was 120 BPM just standing by the blocks due to nerves and John, with relaxed confidence, walked up to me and with the same smile he has in the photo above, said, "you are going to swim a 28.00 and we are going to win this relay."
I stated that I have never swam that fast before and that it was nearly a second faster than I have ever swam. He said, "relax, don't worry, you are gonna do it and I am going to come in 27 and you are are going to do 28-flat. It's done!
So without taking a single breath, I practically did just that, I swam a 28.13.
Though I was the slowest swimmer on the relay, we pulled off a blistering 1:49.11 which for me was my first experience ever of winning a 1st place medal at a championship. (It's real brass too!) I was exhilarated over that win for over 2-months!
Obviously that is Michael Phelps standing next to John who had come to Interviewing him there was Olympic Gold Medalist, Donna DeVarona, who was the youngest swimmer to compete at the 1960 Summer Olympics. At the following Olympics in '64, she won gold medals in the 400 meter individual medley and the 400 meter freestyle relay. According to Wikipedia: "...In her career, she set 18 different swimming records but she retired shortly after the 1964 Olympics. ..." Just imagine if she could have gone pro?
In 1965, DeVarona signed a contract with ABC, which made her the first female sportscaster in television history. She served as Late night host of both the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1984 Summer Olympics.
At the Beneath the Surface launch, John told Michael about our relay and Michael Phelps congratulated me via John on my personal best. How cool is that, a slow-poke like me being congratulated by Michael Phelps?
Here is a link describing the event: [Link]