"...I love the way it makes me look and I love the way it makes me feel in the water," said Gaines, who won three gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and still competes in the Masters division at age 51. "It sucks everything in and gives me a little more buoyancy. We could all use that in life."
The U.S. Masters short course nationals held in Atlanta this past weekend were the final opportunity to wear the neck-to-ankle suits, which revolutionized the sport but are now banned by all the major governing bodies. Masters was the last group to outlaw the suits, allowing them to be worn through the end of the month.
Not surprisingly, 103 individual and 19 relay records were set at the same pool used for the 1996 Olympics.
"I think they've been great for the sport," Gaines said. "I'm really sad to see them go. ..."
Temporary exile - they will rise up and reclaim the kingdom once Phelps retires.