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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


I heard that the Summer Solstice Swim Meet was this weekend. It was also the dreaded weekend of my daughter's Open House, so we weren't going. The Summer Solstice Meet is the big USA swim meet our local club, Great Lakes Aquatics hosts. It's a weekend long event held in a large outdoor city pool. My kids competed in it a few times before they quit swimming.

The last Summer Solstice Meet I attended was four years ago. I wrote a post about it. Here it goes:

Tan and burning. flesh. everywhere.

My daughter swam first Friday afternoon and EARLY Saturday morning. She was the darkest person at the pool. I think there was one other (partially) black girl, but that’s it.

My son's group was a lot more coloful than my daughter's–as I’d expected. Most of us quit before her age? or Never started at all? The younger group may be a new crop, or a movement–only time will tell.

We were instructed to get to the pool at least an hour early for warm-up. Each child had a different approach to warming up. My daughter was busy socializing, hanging out in the diving area, a much smaller sub-section of the pool than the olympic sized lengths of the rest of the pool. She barely swam a warm-up at all. My son worked that whole 50 yard lane–warming up for the full 45 minutes alloted for his group today. He’s dutiful. I worried about my daughter's lack of warm up and I worried about my son's tiring himself out in the warm up. He’s the energizer bunny, though. . .

My middle daughter is not competing yet–but like piano, she seems to actually like what I’d want her to like–and she can float–the only one so far. She’s driven and (therefore?) gifted in swimming.

Swim culture. The first time we came to this meet was 2 years ago, when we were still part of the Kalamazoo Aquatic Club, (KAC). I thought the crowd was scary. I saw tie die t-shirts proclaiming, ‘I’m greatfully deadicated to swimming.’

Now: Older swimmers wear holey suits layered upon layer–teen boys with shredded, baggy, faded shorts atop floral speedos–still scary.

In my son's age group, all the boys wear jammers (think bike shorts minus the padding).

Most of the (non-black) parents are too tan–very fit–with firm legs. Swimmers, too?

Everybody–even little kids in the 2ft section of the pool–can swim.

Cheering our kids on like prize racehorses–or greyhounds.

They keep going. Even after everyone else has exited the pool. Gotta feel like you accomplished something just finishing. Until they hand out medals and trophies to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. And you finished #41–on your best race.


Keep up the grind, the training? The anerobic threshold? We’re considerably more relaxed this year than in the past–2-3 practices a week, when it used to be 4. Should do at least 5. . .

Our kids look great–toned, they can swim well–fearlessly–and don’t win at meets. Now what? I get swept up in the meet culture. Now these people are my people. Maybe I should compete. . .

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