By Misty Hyman (after her incredible upset victory in the 200 Butterfly over world-record holder Susie O'Neill. She swam the second fastest time in history for the gold medal)
This is the first chance I have had to sit down and write about my olympic triumph. It has been a whirlwind of activity and fun since it happened. I
have been on the Today show three times, Bob Costas and Good Morning America. My favorite part is having my hair and makeup done! Next week I have many others. It is hard to believe that I did something so special. I am not used to all of this attention. Deep down I know that I am the same person I was before it happened, but now I have accomplished a feat that was beyond my wildest dreams. It has changed me, it is a moment that will stay with me always. It will give me confidence in the future, and pride forever.
I am so proud to have been able to put all the pieces together at the crucial moment.
Reflections on the race:
I remember being nervous all day long. Sometimes shaking, other times worrying that I wasn't eating the right thing or doing the right thing. I knew though, that I felt good in the water and that all I needed to do was to make it to the ready room. I didn't nap very well that day, just layed in bed.
When I got to the pool I had a great warm up. I didn't feel like I needed to do too much – I was just ready. All the preparation had been completed.
Richard walked me to the ready room, he said to go out there and shine. I knew what I needed to do. Swim my own race, in my own lane, just the way I had trained- with relaxed rhythm and a speed that was within myself, speed that I knew I could carry all day long. We had altered my race strategy changing the number of kicks that I do underwater. 9 kicks off the blocks, then 7, 6, 6 on each turn(at the trials I did 9 kicks off of every wall). We felt as though I was losing my momentum off the wall by kicking too far. The switch was right on, I didn't have to use a lot of energy
regenerating speed that I had lost underwater-I was now able to carry the speed through the transition from below to above water.
I knew that if I was swimming from my heart and trusting myself, great things would happen. I didn't think about beating Susie or the fact that I was
swimming in an Olympic final. I knew it was just a swim meet and that i had done a million, 200 butterflies. Somehow I knew that this time would be different. I was wearing the black long leg racing suit and my black silicon cap-it felt perfect. When I got to the ready room I was relaxed. I wasn't thinking too much. There was nothing I needed to do but be present and execute what I knew I could do. Richard had told me that he believed that I was capable of going 2:05-I knew he was right. I had done the training, I had worked on my skills, I had done everything possible to get ready!
Now it was time to have fun!
I walked out of the ready room, Kaitlin and I slapped hands. I nearly walked to the wrong lane. I looked up at all the people and felt completely at peace. I was confident that I belonged there and that it wasn't a big deal.
I was just going to share with the world the love and passion that I have for the sport and what I do every day. My Dad said I was smiling on the blocks.
I didn't feel a thing. I dove in, I remember being in the moment noticing the camara on the bottom of the pool and the way my legs felt in the brand new suit. When I made the last turn, I said to myslef I can do this! I felt as though I was getting stronger. It was a great feeling to be in control and relaxed. I really didn't know I was so far ahead. I knew the
best thing for me to do was to swim as fast as
I could in the race, the places would take care of themselves.
When I touched wall I couldn't believe it. It was like a dream-I guess it was written all over my face.
More on the medal ceremony later!
By A Fraction Of A Second – $16.95
A new book about nine American women swimmers as they face the challenge of a lifetime: making the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. Experience the training, the hardships, the achievements, as well as the unexpected developments in the lives of Kristy Kowal, Lindsay Benko, Kristine Quance-Julian, Keiko Price and others during the year leading up to the 2000 trials. Includes photos.
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