NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, October 16. WITH Olympian Anthony Ervin set to return to World Cup competition in a matter of hours in Dubai, this seemed like a great time to bring you exclusive video from an event that SwimmingWorld.TV was privileged to film last month at the American Swim Coaches Association’s world clinic. Ervin made a quick appearance for a FINIS-sponsored Q&A session and opened up about his life in the years between winning gold at the 2000 Olympics and participating in the 2012 Games.
In this chat moderated by FINIS Vice President Tim Elson, Ervin details his choice to walk away from the sport in 2003, and what he learned about himself as he explored the world outside the pool.
“I’m not going to recant anything that I did,” he said. “If I was a bird in a cage, I would have never been able to know I was a bird until I was able to fly free. Once I was able to free myself and walk away for a moment … and give myself that space, then I was able to come back refreshed … and buy into the way that coaches have been doing things for a really long time.”
He also talks about the differences in experience at both Olympic Games and how his view of training has changed.
“My experience in Sydney was as a teenager, whereas my experience in London was as a man,” he said. “I felt so lucky in London, but when I was in Sydney there was this burning desire to prove myself. I didn’t necessarily feel like I had anything to prove in London. I was just happy to be there.”
The video below is the first part in what was a very popular part of the ASCA clinic. Come back for part two tomorrow!