This is a fine blog by an Olympian not many folks have heard of –yet. In a very classy move, Warkentin posts the names of his coaches going back 15 years. There’s such a line of coaches behind every Olympian, stretching down to the littlest of leagues and most obscure of competitions. Hats off to all of them, as well as those who never coached a future Olympian but who treated all of their athletes as though they might be, for their millions of hours of unselfish effort to raise up young people of courage and character.
Warkentin is the first American to qualify for the Olympics in men’s open water swimming, a new event that is the swimming version of the marathon for the Games. The Beijing race will be held in a 680,000 sq m. lake built for the occasion. Swimmers will have to make four trips around a 2.5k course, which is freshwater and mostly devoid of waves: it’s often contested in ocean waters. Warkentin, who took gold in the 2007 Open Water World Championship trials, automatically qualified for the Olympics in May when he finished seventh in the 10k at the FINA World Championships in Seville.