Rowdy Gaines Chats With Brett Hawke on Week of What Would Have Been Tokyo 2020; Gives 100 Freestyle Tokyo Prediction

Rowdy Gaines
Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Rowdy Gaines Chats With Brett Hawke on Eve of Original Tokyo Olympic Dates; Gives 100 Free Tokyo Prediction

Olympic gold medalist and NBC broadcaster Rowdy Gaines talked with Brett Hawke on his podcast, Inside with Brett Hawke, about what would have been the Olympic Games happening this week in Tokyo, Japan. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the entire world, the Games have been pushed back a year.

Gaines was notably one of the major victims of the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, where he would have been a gold medal favorite in the 100 and 200 freestyle as well as on American relays. Gaines talked about the state of the world leading into the Games (4:30) and the comparisons between then and now.

Gaines famously rebounded in 1984 to win the 100 freestyle in front of the home Los Angeles crowd. He also anchored the gold medal winning 4×100 medley relay team, and fueled the 4×100 freestyle relay to gold. He went over the 1984 Olympic Trials (18:00) and how he was able to relax himself to be able to perform in the final to try and make the team. Gaines was able to make a good living for himself after the Games (22:30).

Gaines is well-known as one of the TV voices of swimming (25:00) and got his start shortly after the L.A. Games in 1985. He has done color commentating at NBC for the Olympic Games since 1996, and has been the voice of the NCAAs stream for the last 30+ years.

Gaines swam under legendary hall of fame coach Richard Quick at Auburn and Gaines and Hawke reminisced on the impact he had on their lives. Quick coached Gaines to gold in 1984 while Hawke coached under him at Auburn and won the national championship in his absence in 2009.

Gaines was also one of the first swimmers to use the track start in swimming, and he went over how he discovered a new use of the start at an in-season meet in Europe (40:00).

Gaines offered his prediction for the 100 freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics (46:40) next year and the matchup between American Caeleb Dressel and Australian Kyle Chalmers.

Rowdy Gaines was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995, and again as a masters swimmer in 2019.

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