FREDERICKSBURG, Va., Jan. 14. JEFF Rouse, arguably the most dominant 100 meter backstroker of all time, will be attempting a comeback for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, according to an article in yesterday's edition of his hometown newspaper, the Fredericksburg Freelance Star.
Rouse, who held the world record in the 100m backstroke at 53.86, led the world rankings in his event for an unequaled seven consecutive years — from 1990 through '96. (Lenny Krayzelburg lowered that record to 53.60 in 1999, but Rouse still is the second-fastest performer of all time.)
At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he was upset in the 100 back by Canada's Mark Tewksbury, who won in 53.98. Rouse took the silver in 54.04. Leading off the medley relay, Rouse clocked a WR 53.86, then watched as his teammates finished the job with a world record for the relay (3:36.93).
In Atlanta in 1996, he won two gold medals: the 100m back (54.10) and the 400m medley relay.
Rouse also was an eight-time gold medalist at the Pan-Pac games, winning gold in both the 100m back and the 400m medley relay each year in 1989, ‘91, ‘93 and ’95; a three-time world champion; and a double gold medalist at the 1995 Pan-Am Games.
To read more about Rouse's comeback, click on the article in the Freelance Star: