Swimming World Presents ‘Takeoff to Tokyo: The 2000 Olympics’ “Sydney 6″‘

Swimming World November 2019 Takeoff to Tokyo The Sydney 6 Michael Phelps Bob Bowman

Takeoff to Tokyo:
The 2000 Olympics’ “Sydney 6”

By John Lohn

With the 32nd Olympiad slated for next summer in Japan, Swimming World will tip its cap to history. Through its “Takeoff to Tokyo” series, the magazine will examine some of the most significant moments in Olympic lore.

In another hemisphere, as winter gave way to spring, a unique era dawned. Nearly two decades ago, there was belief a group of fresh-faced boys could emerge as mainstays for United States Swimming. As they raced over eight days at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, experts could not help but ask: “Is something special happening here?”

History has proven, time and again, that not all rising talents realize their touted potential. So, strictly from a mathematical perspective, the odds were against these six teenage guys to do what they did.

It’s not that teenagers are unusual on the global scene. Rather, for several to emerge on a simultaneous path—and then continue to grow their careers—is what sets the Sydney Six aside as a distinct group. More, their individual stories included unique arcs.

There was Michael Phelps and the beginning of his climb to the top of Mount Olympus. There was the precocious sprinter in Anthony Ervin, who later in his career would write an epic comeback tale. While Maine-raised Ian Crocker emerged from an unusual locale, Aaron Peirsol was next in a long line of Southern California talents to make his name known. For Klete Keller, an under-the-radar approach became the norm. Then there was Erik Vendt, whose training tenacity and grinder personality served him well.

The scenario that unfolded for Michael Phelps, Anthony Ervin, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Klete Keller and Erik Vendt could very well remain unmatched.

To read more about each swimmer of the Sydney 6,
check out the November issue of Swimming World, out now!

SW November 2019 Florian Wellbrock Cover 800x1070

[PHOTO CREDIT: BECCA WYANT]

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FEATURES

016 2019 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by David Rieder and Dan D’Addona
Female: Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil
Male: Florian Wellbrock, Germany

018 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019
by Dan D’Addona
The open water competition at the FINA Aquatics Championships commanded the sport’s spotlight for 2019. But many more open water highlights took place this past year—from Hawaii to Florida to Europe and East Asia. Here are Swimming World’s top five.

020 DOPING FOR GOLD
by Craig Lord
The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago in November 1989 opened the door that would eventually reveal East Germany’s systematic doping of an estimated 10,000 athletes over more than two decades.

023 MAKING A DIFFERENCE
by David Rieder
Through a constant drive for bettering herself, Simone Manuel has crafted a career for which she may eventually be remembered as the greatest American sprinter ever. But she has forever changed the sport, her impact reaching far beyond any medal she has won.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: THE SYDNEY 6
by John Lohn
At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, six American male teenagers broke through during their first Olympic foray and remained major players in the sport in the years ahead. The scenario that unfolded for Michael Phelps, Anthony Ervin, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Klete Keller and Erik Vendt could very well remain unmatched.

030 ISHOF: SWIMMER RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF BRITISH MILITARY’S GREATEST HEROES
by Bruce Wigo
Bernard Freyberg, a New Zealander who distinguished himself both in swimming and in war, used his expertise in swimming to perform one of the most heroic acts of World War I.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: DICK KIMBALL
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME THE BARRIERS TO IMPROVING TECHNIQUE
by Rod Havriluk
There are many barriers that make it difficult for any swimmer to improve technique. Fortunately, there are also very effective strategies to deal with these barriers. The first step is for the swimmer to stay mentally engaged for the duration of every training session.

038 SETON SWIMMING’S SAMPLE FOR SUCCESS
by Michael J. Stott
Jim Koehr, head coach of the Seton School swimming team in Manassas, Va., has devised an ideal model for a winning high school program.

041 Q&A WITH COACH SCOTT ARMSTRONG
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN NOAH CORBITT
by Michael J. Stott

JUNIOR SWIMMER

045 UP & COMERS: McKENNA STONE
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

013 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

046 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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