FONTANA, Calif., USA, September 8. IN the middle of a competitive hiatus, Amanda Beard has joined Mecklenburg Aquatics, an arrangement that allows the three-time Olympian to keep strong contact with close friend Carl Edwards, among the leading drivers in NASCAR. The aforementioned was reported on Wednesday by Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register.
After winning gold in the 200-meter breaststroke at last summer’s Olympic Games in Athens, Beard decided to take a break from the competitive scene and has spent a great deal of her time capitalizing on endorsement opportunities. She’s also attended more than a dozen NASCAR races, cheering on Edwards from pit road. Edwards lives in Mooresville (N.C.), not far from Mecklenburg Aquatics in Charlotte.
According to the article, Beard will resume training in 2006, but will not return to the competitive ranks until the World Championships of 2007, scheduled for Melbourne. A seven-time Olympic medalist, Beard will add to the American strength in the breaststroke events. Currently, the stroke is powered on the national scene by Jessica Hardy and Tara Kirk. Beard could qualify for her fourth Olympics in 2008.