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article imageFive-time Olympic medalist Josh Davis talks about swimming career Special

By Markos Papadatos     Nov 29, 2018 in Sports
Edmond - Five-time Olympic medalist Josh Davis (winner of three gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games, and two silver medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney) chatted with Digital Journal about his illustrious career in swimming.
He serves as the Head Swim Coach of Oklahoma Christian University, and he is also a motivational speaker and sports commentator. On November 19, 2018, Davis attended the 2018 Golden Goggle Awards in New York City, which benefited the USA Swimming Foundation. "It was wonderful. I've been there several times over the years. It's a neat reunion with a lot of old friends," he said. "It's a nice affair, and we love the New York event since it is fun to be in Times Square."
Davis continued, "It is very important to make sure that all kids know how to swim and are comfortable in the water. Swimming can save their lives, and by being able to swim, you can save somebody else's life. Swimming is a sport that you can do your whole life."
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Davis described it as an "awesome" experience to win three gold medals at the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds the distinction of being the sole male athlete in any sport to win three gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. "I wasn't projected to win, but I was on that week, and I was a part of all three winning relays. That was really fun," he admitted. "Team USA has a great track record at the relays."
It was an absolute honor for Davis to hear the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," played in his honor at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. "I sang it loud and proud. Your life flashes in your mind, and you think of all the people that helped get you there," he said.
Speaking of relays, Davis presented the 2018 Golden Goggle Award for "Relay Performance of the Year." "I think they did that on purpose," he said, with a laugh. "I was a good relay guy, so they figured I would be good to present the 'Relay' award."
On his daily motivations, Davis said, "I am so grateful to my coaches and team-mates, and the Olympians who were around in the '80s and inspired me. My company is the Breakout Swim Clinic Tour of Olympians. Every weekend, we have some of our Olympic swimmers out encouraging and inspiring kids all over the country. We do about 100 cities a year."
For young swimmers, he encouraged them "to love what they do," and in return to know "that they are loved." "When you love what you do, and you know you are loved, you have motivation for a long, healthy career," he said.
He credits his longevity in the sport due to his dedication and discipline. "I loved the process, and I didn't really outswim everybody, I outlasted everybody. I kept sticking around and I learned the tricks. I did my best times when I was 28," he said.
On the impact of technology on aquatics, Davis said, "Every generation, the genetics are a little better, and the technology is better. We know more about nutrition, weights, and training. Coaches get smarter and it is fascinating."
Davis praised 2018 national swimming champion Michael Andrew for being one of the most inspiring swimmers he has ever been around. "I am dear friends with Michael and his family," he said. "With his vlog, he makes swimming fun to follow. For teenagers, he is a big hit, and he lives a very unique and different life. It is fun to follow, and it was fun to watch his journey over the last four years since he turned professional."
He continued, "Michael Andrew loves to race, he loves to meet people, he loves to encourage everyone, and he is so articulate at that age. Michael is a good ambassador for the sport."
Aside from his coaching duties, he is also a husband to Shantel and a father to six children. "There is a great deal of juggling, and it never stops," he said, about balancing his family life with a career in sports. "My wife is amazing, and we really help each other. It has been a crazy journey, but I feel very blessed that my wife and I are able to support each other. It has been a fun journey."
In 2011, Davis was inducted into the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. "That was a big deal. That was pretty cool," he admitted.
A former world record holder, Davis defined the word success as "the satisfaction that you did your best every day."
For his fans and supporters, Davis concluded, "Thank you so much for the support. I've gone to so many towns and pools to train people, and I would love to come back. We have more Olympians added to our tour every year. We want to keep spreading the Olympic spirit and the love of water to everybody."
To learn more about five-time Olympic medalist and American swimmer Josh Davis, check out his official website and follow him on Twitter.
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