By Phillip Whitten
Contrary to recent media reports, quadruple 1996 Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken will not only swim the 50 meter freestyle. According to reports from several media outlets, including nbcolympics.com, Van Dyken, who earlier this month underwent shoulder surgery for the second time in just over a year, had said she would only swim the 50 free. Van Dyken, the American record holder in the event, upset China’s Le Jingyi in Atlanta to win that event in 1996. She also won the 100 meters butterfly and was a member of the winning American 400 freestyle and 400 medley relay teams.
Swiminfo has learned, however, that Van Dyken intends to swim both the 50 and the 100 free, passing only on the 100 fly. By swimming just the 50 free, Van Dyken could win only one Olympic medal in Sydney. By adding the 100 free, she puts herself in contention to win three additional meals: in the 100, itself, and in both the 400 freestyle and medlay relays.
To make the 2000 U.S. Olympic team in the 50 and the individual 100 free, Van Dyken must place among the top two at the Olympic Trials. To make the relay, she must place among the top six.