Lindsay Benko's Diary From World's - Day 1 -- March 17, 2000
By Lindsay Benko
We finally made it to the first day of the meet. It is pretty exciting. Almost everyone swam on a relay, individual event or both today. So we are shaved and everyone is ready to go. The morning went well and almost everyone that swam made it back in either a semi- final or final. They are doing the semi- final format for the 50s and 100s. Which makes it a long event for some. Thank God they don’t make us swim semis in the long stuff, that would be rough.
We saw a ton of American records broken tonight, I am not sure how many, but it was a bunch. We also saw Neil Walker break a world record, in the 50 backstroke, twice!! It was amazing he was swimming so fast and on his back!!! I think about everyone that raced today at some point went a personal best, which is great for the US!! I am glad to see the Americans doing so well at this meet. We can swim short course too!!
Things have gotten a little more serious since the meet has started. People, including myself are getting annoyed with the bus system and the sometimes 40 min. bus ride in major traffic, thank God for music!! Although people are still having fun, especially me, because if you don’t have fun you aren’t going to swim fast. A crazy thing happened this morning in prelims of the men’s 50 breaststroke. A guy broke the block during his start, the whole top fell off, it was crazy!! So they fixed it and the meet went on, however if I ever have to swim in lane 4 I will be a little nervous to do a start. I can venture to say that nothing like this has happened before, at least at a meet I have been to.
You can tell that swimming isn’t a big sport in Greece. The crowd is non- existent and I think the few fans that are here are American parents and media!! It is definitely not as exciting as Pan Pacs in Australia. But there is little that can compare. Maybe when it is the weekend there will be more people, but I doubt it. However, I am really looking forward to the weekend, because I actually get to swim my individual events. I start with the 400 free on Saturday and the 200 free and back on Sunday. It is going to be a long and busy weekend, but I am real excited for it. I will write tomorrow, I don’t race, but I am sure a lot of others do.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”
( Editor's note: Lindsay Benko broke the American Record in the 200m Free (156.46) leading off the USA 800 Freestyle relay.)