‘I know people swimming in rivers in lakes’: Team USA swimmers train however possible for Tokyo 2021

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Gunnar Bentz and his teammates in Georgia have used, among other things, a water slide to simulate their dives.

Six months ago, we interviewed Gunnar Bentz after a grueling practice at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium. He was training hard, with teammates like Chase Kalisz, Olivia Smoliga, and Jay Litherland, as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo drew near.

“I can’t wait,” Bentz told us. “There’s six more months, but hopefully it flies by. I’m sure it will.”

Six months later, Bentz is swimming not in Tokyo, but Watkinsville, Ga., at an outdoor pool where his UGA teammates must now focus on 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it so.

“A lot of people had to call it quits and hang up that Speedo,” Bentz told 11Alive’s Matt Pearl earlier this week. “I had plenty of time to really go over every single aspect of what I want to do, and I realized, in 20-30 years, I’m gonna regret not swimming.”

Read 11Alive

 

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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