“Gold in the Water” Author Donates Five Books to World Record-Setters’ Teams

By Norbert Agh

BE careful what you promise. A week ago, author P.H. Mullen decided to donate five copies of his acclaimed swimming book, "Gold in the Water," to the age-group team of any swimmer breaking a world record at this week's national championships in Fort Lauderdale.

He never expected this. Not one, not two, but THREE individuals have broken world records. And there are still two more swimming sessions.

First was Natalie Coughlin in the 100m backstroke. Then we saw Michael Phelps and Eric Vendt together break the world record in, perhaps, the greatest 400m I.M. race of all time.

Fittingly, "Gold in the Water," an inspiring book about swimmers' journey to the 2000 Olympics, centered on the 400m I.M., an event Mullen repeatedly described as the most illustrious in the sport.

"American swimming is experiencing a superb revitalization," said Mullen. "We're giving the books specifically to age-group teams as a way of reminding young swimmers that success is always due to great coaching and great teams."

In less than a year on the market and solely by word-of-mouth marketing, "Gold in the Water" (St. Martin's Press, 2001) has become one of the widely read swimming books ever. The London Times named it one of the "10 Best Sports Books of the Year." It was only the second swimming book ever reviewed in the New York Times (the first was Phil Whitten's "The Complete Book of Swimming).

Also, the American Library Association has nominated "Gold in the Water" it's "Book of the Year for Young Adults."

The total value of the donation stands at $375.00. And there's more swimming to come!

You can order the book directly on Swim Info's website:

For more information, visit or email

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