For the past four days, rumors have been circulating on the internet that American distance swimmer, Chad Carvin, had hung up his suit and called it a career. Swimming World has learned that the rumors are not quite correct.
In an e-mail to Phil Whitten, editor of Swimming World, Carvin said he “[hasn’t] decided yet” whether or not to retire. Plagued by back problems this season, Carvin had not been training up to his standards. He told Whitten he would be “taking some time off, healing and then deciding.”
Carvin was America’s leading distance hope for the 1996 Olympic Games when he contracted cardiomyopathy, a serious heart disease that experts believed would end his career. Instead, Carvin staged a “miraculous” recovery and last February won four events at the USS National Championships in Buffalo, only the third man in the last 25 years to win four individual events at a national championship (the other two are Mark Spitz, twice, and Tom Dolan). At both the Spring and Summer Nationals, Carvin won the Kiphuth Award as the men’s high-point scorer. In September, he was honored by United States Swimming as its “Swimmer of the Year.”
Carvin was a member of the U.S. national team that will compete in Perth next month, having made the team in the 200, 400 and 1500 free. He was a key element in the U.S. 800m freestyle relay, an event in which the U.S. was considered to be a very narrow favorite. Without Carvin, Australia moves into the favorite’s position.
We will update our report on the Chad Carvin situation as we learn more.