BOULDER, Co. Dec.1.
DIANA MUNZ, a member of the gold medal-winning USA 800 meter freestyle relay and a silver medalist in the 400 meter freestyle at the Sydney Olympics, has decided to forgo a four-year scholarship at the University of Arizona and turn pro. The announcement was made today by her agent, Gold Medal Management/IMG.
Munz enjoyed a spectacular 2000 season, recovering from a devastating 1999 back injury resulting from an auto accident, to capture gold, silver and the hearts of all who witnessed her amazing comeback.
After winning three consecutive 800-meter freestyle national titles (Spring and Summer 1998; Spring 1999), Diana was forced to miss the remainder of the 1999 season due to her injury; however, she firmly re-established herself among the world's elite with her stellar success in 2000. Electing to forgo college at Arizona, she is dedicating herself to full-time training at home in Cleveland in preparation for the 2001 World Championships and 2004 Olympic Games.
"I am looking forward to being a part of the Gold Medal Management/IMG team," said Munz. "They offer the experience and expertise that an Olympic athlete looks for in representation and I am confident in their abilities to help me pursue my goals in and out of the pool. IMG's strong presence in Cleveland will definitely help support all of my activities within the community."
Jerry Holtrey, Munz's long-time coach, felt confident in her decision to pursue a professional swimming career over swimming at the collegiate level. "It was a difficult decision for Diana but I think she based her decision on what was best for her. Diana felt that competing at the international level would best benefit her career. She's a talented athlete and I am looking forward to helping her prepare for the 2004 Olympics."
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Gold Medal Management and we are excited to work with such a talented and charismatic Olympic champion," said Janey Miller, Vice President, Olympic Sports for Gold Medal Management. "Our recent merger with IMG will allow us to continue to offer quality representation to Olympic athletes with the support of the IMG worldwide network behind us."
"IMG is excited to be working with a hometown hero," said Sherry Whay, Vice President at IMG. "The community has really supported Diana and her road to Olympic success. Diana truly appreciates the support of the city of Cleveland and looks forward to giving back to the community."