May 27, 2016
ONLY ONE MONTH TO OLYMPIC TRIALS
Exactly one month from today, on June 26th, Tsunami swimmer TC Smith will take to the water to swim his 400 m. free event. He will be the first swimmer to represent the SRQ Tsunami Swim Team at this, the second most prestigious meet in the world. It will be the first day of this eight day competition that will set the stage for the USA number one Olympic Sport to select their team that will compete in Rio.
It was almost four years to the day that we sat down as a team, as the country prepared for the 2012 USA Olympic Trials, and we announced that in 2016 we would have a swimmer or swimmers competing at this highest level club swimming meet in the nation. We were a fledgling club, just barely two years old, had not even had a single USA Junior National qualifier, when that audacious claim was made. Scroll forward four years and we have arrived at our end point. With one qualified and two more very close, the Tsunami swim team has made an indelible mark on the local and national swimming community.
So one month before the upcoming trials, we will again set our standard for the next Olympic quadrennial. Swimmers need goals, Coaches need goals and most important, teams need goals. Our collective goal will be to put a Tsunami swimmer on the blocks in Tokyo in 2020. We will be represented at the next Olympics, at the ultimate swimming competition in the world. We don't know who that swimmer will be, that person might not yet even be in the pool yet, but at least one person will make it that far from our team.
So most, if not all of you are thinking, 'how does that affect me, either I [for the swimmer] or our swimmer [for the parent], is not the person who will make that next giant step. The answer is twofold. First, while we race as individuals we train as a team. We push each other to be better and our collective effort is greater than our individual efforts combined. We keep each other honest in the work we do and one of my favorite sayings [and I have a lot of them] is that "each athlete honors their teammates by the effort they give".
Second, each team is built in the shape of a pyramid. As the pinnacle gets higher for the very top of the team [and pyramid], each level rises with it. If your highest point is just an A time then every level below is that much lower. But if our highest level is the highest offered in our sport, then every level below is commensurately that much higher. So if we do achieve our goal in four years, every team member will have achieved more because of that collective effort.
We are only limited by how high we can dream and how willing we are to make those dreams come true.
Lastly, a huge thank you to every swimmer, parent and coach who has made this journey so worthwhile and so much fun.