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article imageCatching up with Rowdy Gaines: Olympian and Hall of Famer Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 22, 2020 in Sports
Three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines chatted with Digital Journal about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Regarding the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021, he said, "All of these athletes are certainly feelings of denial, anger, and sadness. You go through an acceptance stage and at the very best, they will be motivated to prove something next summer. For many of these athletes, it's a matter of life and death. Most of them are going to come together."
"USA Swimming is an incredible organization. It's the best national governing body in the world, and it is doing so much to help people. I think things are going to end up being okay," he said.
A USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador, Gaines was recently interviewed by Kelly Palace and Maria Parker Champion's Mojo. "I did that podcast a couple of days ago. They were really nice," he said. "It's great to get the information out there about swimming. Anytime I can do that to promote our sport, I am all in."
In September of 2019, Gaines was inducted into the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame, which took place in St. Louis, Missouri. "That was very nice and very humbling for sure. They were really nice and the Masters is a big part of my life. I love the people in the sport and you have common goals," he said.
He complimented the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju for being a "good meet." "I've never been to Korea. It was a fun meet. Caeleb Dressel was amazing, and so was Regan Smith. I was really happy for Olivia Smoliga, she did a great job and she is such a nice person," he said.
Gaines acknowledged that world champion swimmer Caeleb Dressel is "really good" at imitating him as a swimming commentator.
On his career-defining moments, he said, "The boycott was definitely a defining moment. From the valley to the peak, making the Olympic team was a big deal for me, and so was winning the three Olympic gold medals."
When he was a competitive swimmer, he shared that his best stroke was the freestyle though his personal favorite was the backstroke. "I always liked swimming backstroke but I wasn't always very good at it," he said.
He has been praised by such veteran Olympic gold medalists as Michael Phelps and Josh Davis. "We are lucky to have somebody like Rowdy. There's no better person that's going to help continue to change the sport, but him," Michael Phelps said, while Josh Davis listed Gaines as one his "heroes" in the sport. "Rowdy is a great Olympian and an even better guy," Davis exclaimed.
Gaines reciprocated the remarks about Josh Davis. "Josh is a wonderful human being and a great ambassador to our sport. Josh has been around for a long time and he has been a big part of our sport. He always gives good motivational talks," Gaines said.
He encouraged people to have hope during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "It's okay to be vulnerable and sad sometimes," he said. "The biggest message is to have hope and we need to hang on to hope. The human race has been through some trials and tribulations, and it is one of those valleys where we all need to come together."
The Hall of Famer defined the word success as "being able to survive the valleys because our lives are full of peaks and valleys." "The valleys defined me a lot more than the peaks. I didn't like losing but losing taught me a lot of valuable lessons. Success is learning from those mistakes and learning from those valleys. Life is a journey. There is no end result in life until you pass on. Life is not a gold medal every day, life is a journey and we have to learn from our journey," he said.
To learn more about Olympian Rowdy Gaines, check out his official website.
Cullen Jones  Simone Manuel and Rowdy Gaines at the Empire State Building in New York as part of the...
Cullen Jones, Simone Manuel and Rowdy Gaines at the Empire State Building in New York as part of the USA Swimming Foundation's "Make A Splash" Tour.
USA Swimming Foundation
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