It looks like we're back in the run of good weather, this week is looking and feeling spectacular! The swell that's currently filling the banks may hang around the next couple of days... likely only 1-2ft though.
Back when my sis Bec and I were kids we were keen swimmers; we used to be in squads throughout the week and raced early each Saturday morning. Mum and Dad love being around the water too. So naturally most of the Olympic events we went to were water based (water polo & swimming). Each day we cheered on the home grown heroes, Hackett, Perkins, O'Neill, Jones, Rooney, Huegill, Klim and some bloke wearing a full body seal costume. It was great to see our Aussie Dolphins do so well, winning a number of gold. In particular the relays - Remember the smashing guitars!
But, that wasn't my fondest memory from the Aquatic Centre. Not even close! One morning during the heats we sat up high in the bleachers ready for the mad 100 metre mens freestyle dash. In one of the races we definitely did not get that. Three blokes lined up behind the blocks. On your marks... two jumped in too early and got disqualified for their efforts. Meaning a race of one, Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea who had only learned how to swim earlier that year... Him vs the clock.
[Pieter van den Hoogenband WR, Sydney 2000 47.84]
He had done it, he had completed the 100 metres! Not in world record pace or even remotely close, but he had completed it. Everyone (I mean everyone) was up, out of their seats cheering, clapping and celebrating this Olympian. The crowds went berserk and the roof was lifted as he touched the finish wall. We had just seen something special, the legend of Eric the Eel was born and it's a moment I'll never forget. Later that day and I timed myself over 100m... just saying, I could have been an Olympian.
In 2004 Eric clocked a very respectable time of 56.9, which can firmly say I never got close to. What a legend for never giving up on his dream!!
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