Five athletes who plan to compete in the 1996 Summer Olympics discuss how they prepare for the challenge. Swimmer Tom Malchow works out about 3 hours a day. Gymnast Casey Bryan, swimmer Cristina Teuscher, and track athlete Suzy Powell also discuss their training.
It’s going to be a summer full of running, jumping, swimming, cycling, and balancing … but will all the action be at the Summer Olymp’cs? We’re proud of the hard-working young Americans who will compete in Atlanta. Why not make this the summer that you get up and get moving too?
It’s about 7 a.m. in a Houston gymnastics facility. Tiny Dominique Moceanu, 14 years old, charges down the runway and into a near-perfect vault and landing …. It’s early yet in California, but UCLA athlete Suzy Powell soon will be up and working hard to improve her skill with the discus and javelin…. At the University of Michigan, swimmer Tom Malchow is well into his morning workout in the pool.
The 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta will give America’s young people a chance to show their stuff. Current Health found five young men and women who have spent a big chunk of their young lives training hard and living right–in the hope of making the U.S. Olympic team in their sport. What they do takes talent, time, determination…and the guts to dream BIG.
Five Olympic Hopefuls Talk About Their Lives
What do these young Olympic “wannabes” have to show you? Each of them has made hard choices, given up time they could have spent on friends and fun. They get up early, practice every day, eat right, learn to work out “smart” to avoid injury … and some nights, they get to bed early even when they’d rather stay out and party! Most of all, these young athletes are in charge of their bodies and their health … and you can be, too!
Tom Malchow, swimming: “I’m trying not to think too much about the Olympics,” says Tom, a freshman at the University of Michigan. “I’ve got a shot at it, there’s no doubt. But this will be my first time at the Olympic trials, and I’m one of the younger swimmers around. The 2000 Olympics are a possibility for me, too.”
Tom works out in the water twice a day, and then does another hour or so of “dry land stuff”–weight lifting and such. His specialty is the 200-meter butterfly, an especially grueling event that calls for power and plenty of determination. “Maybe that’s why I like it,” he says. “It’s hard, and not too many people want to try it.”
Tom started swimming at age 7 because it was a sport that worked well for a boy with asthma who had trouble with other outdoor sports. “Swimming has been great. It’s given me a lot of personal satisfaction, and it’s taken me places: to the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg [Russia], to the Pan American Games in Argentina, and to competitions in Palma [Spain] and Paris. I really enjoyed seeing all those places.”
Tom says his Olympic dream made high school life a challenge. “It’s hard to go to classes after you’ve been up since dawn swimming. You have to change your priorities and let some other things take a back seat. Some people aren’t willing to make those sacrifices.
“But the rewards are definitely worth it, and that’s what you have to focus on. If you don’t have a goal in mind, if you aren’t looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, you won’t keep going.”
Casey Bryan, gymnastics: “I don’t remember it too well; I was only 5 or 6. But my parents say I saw a gymnastics event on TV, and decided to try it out on the furniture. So they decided I’d better get some actual training. if it hadn’t been for them putting out the money, giving me the rides back and forth, paying for the trips, and never doubting wouldn’t be here.”
Casey Bryan grew up in Woods Cross, Utah. This year, he’s a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma–and working hard on the next leg of his dream: the 1996 Olympics.