Busy New Year For Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Hardy: New Book, New Coach

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

It’s been a busy holiday season for Olympic gold medalist Jessica Hardy. Not only does she continue to market her new book released last year, she’s also recently decided to make a coaching switch.

Hardy, who published a book entitled “Swimming Toward The Gold Lining: How Jessica Hardy turned her wounds into wisdom,” just made the decision to train closer to home as she’s moving from head coach Dave Salo at Trojan Swim Club to head coach Mark Schubert at the Golden West Swim Club.

Hardy, who is located in Long Beach and faced a lengthy California-traffic commute each day to and from practice with the Trojan Swim Club in Los Angeles, began swimming just 10 minutes from home at Golden West during USC’s holiday break. With Salo and the rest of the Women of Troy on a much different schedule, Hardy figured that she could do her practices just about anywhere.  After enough time, she really started to settle in and enjoy being trained by Schubert while there.

“Mark’s team, Golden West, just happens to be a 10-minute drive from my house,” Hardy told Swimming World. “I had worked with him lots in the past at various camps, so I knew he was an amazing coach, and gave him a call to train with him over the holidays this year. I have really enjoyed the breath of fresh air and enthusiasm that training with his team has brought. I now have a new set of eyes watching my technique and different styles of training. I am also lucky to be fully supported by my long-time coach, Dave Salo, in the process.”

That’s not a bad coaching switch for Hardy as she’s now going to be training with former USA Swimming National Team Head Coach as well as someone who has coached a laundry list of top female swimmers including Shirley Babashoff, Janet Evans, Tiffany Cohen, Cynthia Woodhead, Jill Sterkel, Lindsay Benko, Dara Torres and Kaitlin Sandeno.  Schubert also has coached a stable of top men like Brian Goodell, Mike O’Brien, Lenny Krayzelburg, Erik Vendt and Larsen Jensen.

“I have trained with [Schubert] at multiple training camps throughout my decade on the national team, and he is one of the few coaches that I knew I would have enough respect for to do absolutely anything he asked of me,” Hardy said.
“I am at the point in my career where I need someone to hold me accountable when I get too comfortable, and he has already pushed me way past my comfort zone! I’m really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

Hardy still credits Salo for her career resurgence while talking about the move.

“I credit Dave for absolutely everything I have accomplished in my career,” Hardy said. “I am so grateful for everything he has taught me. He has been the most supportive, amazing influence in my life, in and out of the pool, and am really grateful that we can continue a positive relationship moving forward. I will be training with Mark full time, but Dave will forever be a part of my life.”

On top of being super excited about a new direction in her training, Hardy also enjoys the chance to tell her own story with her new book.


Photo Courtesy: JessicaHardy.net

“I was surprised at how difficult it was to write it. I had to relive a lot of pain to put my story on paper, and am exposing myself like never before, but my overall goal was to try to relay my story in a way that can inspire others,” Hardy said. “I found the good through some very difficult obstacles, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who could use some inspiration though their own tough times. The pain of writing the book is worth it if I can help just one of those people.”

Hardy, who is typically reserved when dealing with anything public after having media members looking through her windows following her positive doping test in 2008, opened up more than she thought she would in her book.

“I revealed a LOT more personal details about how hard it was to miss the Beijing Games, but also something very intimate about my childhood; which I shared in order to help families who may be going through something similar,” Hardy said. “I have gotten feedback from a few people that have said they are surprised at how intimate and honest I was in the book, so I think the readers will be surprised to experience what it truly was like for me during those times.”

Although Swimming World has provided Hardy with plenty of opportunities to explain her story, and was one of the first interviews with Hardy following her positive doping test, Hardy still has never had the chance to speak her story without any filter, until now. Hardy found writing the book to be a cathartic experience as she told her own side of the story for the first time unfettered by a media outlet’s input.

“Reliving the pain that I went through was almost just as traumatizing to experience through writing,” Hardy said. “I had many tears and anxiety-filled moments throughout the writing process, but it was absolutely worth it to get my story out there!”

Hardy hopes her book leads readers to some lessons learned from her roller-coaster past decade on the National Team.

“I hope my story inspires others to believe in themselves and to know that they can succeed when all hope seems lost,” Hardy said. “Believe that they are worthy of their dreams, and that they can accomplish whatever they are willing to work for. No matter what anyone is going through, I want to inspire people that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be difficult to see in the dark, but keep believing in yourself, trust who you are, and never allow anyone to take your dignity away.”

Hardy’s book is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble.

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1 comment

  1. avatar

    Good luck, Jessica.

    If you make it to Rio I’m sure Mme. Meilutyte and your former teammate Mme. Efimova will be happy to see you and show you their heels too (or maybe vice versa!)
    And if you happen to encounter the English journalist Craig Lord, who runs swimvortex.com, you might explain you’re not amused @ the potshots he’s taken @ you and Yulia over the years and that they’re most uncalled for.

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