MELBOURNE. TWO-TIME Australian Olympian Daniel Kowalski had his second major shoulder operation in three months last week in a bid to become a triple Olympian, The Australian newspaper reported.
Kowalski, 25, troubled by over-flexible shoulders, only trained for the 800 meter freestyle relay for the Sydney Games last year and was part of the Australian team that won gold and set a world record in that event. However, the 1996 silver medalist in the 200 free only swam in the prelims in Sydney.
The newspaper reported that Kowalski was willing to spend a year in rehabilitation after the operation for the promise of a third Olympics and the chance to swim a last great 1,500m freestyle.
"I am dealing with the rehab and the frustration much better, because there's no stress or pressure of a date to be ready. This time I knew this year was a total write-off," Kowalski said.
Kowalski has submitted to major surgery on both shoulders to have them "shrunk." He has had four shoulder operations in his career.
The Australian championships are in Hobart later this month ahead of the world championships in Fukoka, Japan, in July.
Kowalski won silver behind countryman Kieren Perkins in the 1,500m freestyle at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and also won minor medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle.