Rowdy Gaines - LIMU's World Class Olympic Gold Medalist

The road to a podium, any podium, is long.

The road to the Olympics podium is longer than all the rest,

and there is only one route. One lap of the pool at a time, over and over and over until you’ve swam so many, you’ve lost all track of time and distance. And still you’re not there. There are more laps and endless kicks and strokes and breaths and turns. So you keep swimming, and swimming, and swimming, because you know that one day you will arrive in Moscow, and you will climb the podium.

And so it was with Rowdy Gaines.

For four years, Rowdy trained for that podium. Six hours a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. At the end of one year, he had trained 312 days. Two thousand hours. At the end of four years, he had trained 1248 days, 7500 hours and fourteen thousand miles. He could see the end of the road, and it was Moscow. At the end of that road was vindication for the pain of every start, every stroke, every breath and every turn. Moscow was the pinnacle. But there was no Moscow.

He started over. The road was the same, and this time he knew exactly how long it would be. But, at the end was redemption, and it was in Los Angeles. It was there he climbed the podium. It was there he found gold.

The journey had just begun. A competitor never stops competing; a winner never stops winning. He said he would swim through another eight years and another boycott to feel what he felt again. And so he continued to climb podiums, and he climbs them still. There is one goal: winning.

A day in the life, 1980 A day in the life, 2010
4,000 yards an hour; 2400 strokes/kicks; 1200 flip turns 4,000 yards an hour; 2400 strokes/kicks; 1200 flip turns
Five hours and 20,000 yards
(13 miles)
Two hours and 8,000 yards
(4.5 miles)
Six days and 82 miles a week Six days and 27 miles a week
312 days and 4,200 miles a year 312 days and 1,400 miles a year
Burned 4,500 calories a day Burns 1,500 calories a day