By Jim Lutz – Swimming World correspondent and former head swimming coach at the University of Illinois.
After five years of dealing with, and overcoming almost insurmountable odds and misfortune, Chad Carvin has finally become an Olympian. An obvious sentimental crowd favorite, Chad delivered a tremendous performance for the second time during these exciting trials.
As a promising up and comer in 1995, Chad dealt with a rare heart aliment which left him virtually bedridden for four months removing him and his
hopes from the 1996 Olympic Trials. When doctors told Chad he would never swim again, he defied all odds and became the winner of the coveted "Comeback of the Year" award in 1997.
Refusing to allow any adversity to disrupt his plans, Chad continued in his quest for membership on the National Team. Once again life played a cruel
trick on Chad. In 1997, he developed a disc problem in his back. The injury removed him from the 1998 World Championship Trials. A virtual lock for prominence on the U.S. Team, Chad was replaced by able talented and
dedicated individuals. The U.S. team was ready for battle but would be missing a vital aspect; the loss of a never-say-die athlete who could do nothing but enhance the team's chances for optimal success.
Over the course of the next two years, Chad once again dedicated himself to earning that elusive spot on the US Olympic team that had eluded him in
1996. Chad not only challenged himself but everyone who enter the pool during a training session. He is one of those unique individuals who makes everyone around him better.
Finishing second in the 400 freestyle gave Chad some breathing room. His third place finish in the 200 freestyle, set his date with destiny as a member of the 4 x 200 freestyle relay in Sydney.
Now that the gray cloud of misfortune has passed, Chad can put those demons to rest and sleep with ease. But Chad, don't rest too long, America needs you next month to lead us to victory.