BOULDER, Colorado, October 26. EVERY swimmer dreams of having the opportunity to represent their country on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games. In 1984, Chris Stevenson's dream came true when he competed for Greece at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
"My mom's Greek, but most people probably can't tell that I am because my skin is fair. I used to live in Greece, so representing them in international competition wasn't new, but obviously the Olympics were," he said. Stevenson performed exceptionally well at the Games, finishing 12th in the 100 meter butterfly.
Stevenson's efforts in Los Angeles translated into a successful college career at the University of North Carolina, after which he joined a Masters team. Now competing for the Virginia Masters Swim Team, Chris has posted top yards times in the men's 40-44 age group in the 200 free, 50, 100 and 200 back, and the 100 and 200 fly.
Stevenson's success at the Masters level hasn't come easily however, as he must juggle swimming with his career as a chemistry professor at Richmond University.
"It is hard to balance sometimes, but I don't have a lot of travel, which definitely helps," he said.
Despite his busy schedule, Chris still trains five to six times a week in a unique environment that includes a mix of age group and Masters swimmers. When asked how he felt about swimming alongside swimmers significantly younger than himself, Stevenson simply replied, "I don't mind. Their energy energizes me."
This season in the pool, Stevenson is looking to equal or better his times from last year.
"My primary goals are always just to fight the battle against age," he said. "If I can get the same times but be a year older, that's great."
As long as he's swimming with a group of energetic kids, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.