Saturday, December 12, 2009

Manchester & Representing the 'Stars & Stripes'

Once again I'm gearing up for another big trip. It feels like I just got back to Texas and now I'm leaving again. Tuesday will be the start of a two week journey that will first take me to Manchester, England where I will compete at the Duel in the Pool. The trip to England will be short and sweet, all of about five days, at which point I will head back to Wisconsin to spend the Holidays with my family. From what I hear Manchester might be as cold as Wisconsin. It's times like these, when I'm packing lots of warm clothes, that I remember again how lucky I am to live in such a delightful climate.

Duel in the Pool has traditionally always been a duel meet between USA and Australia. This year is a bit different. Originally it was supposed to be 18 men and 18 women from the USA against and all-star team of 18 men and 18 women from England, France and Russia. For some reason that I am unaware of France and Russia have dropped out and Germany and Italy have come aboard in their place. To be honest I really have no idea who I'll be racing over there. The truth is that it doesn't really matter anyways. My goal is simple, swim fast, have fun, and represent the 'Stars and Stripes' to the best of my abilities.

I've come to realize that wearing the 'Stars and Stripes' is much more than swimming fast and placing well at a sporting event. It involves and is intertwined in everything we do. Whether we're in the airport, locker-room, behind the starting blocks, or out to dinner, we are looked at as ambassadors of our nation and that is something we take very seriously. I know America is a very strong nation, and I am proud to be an American. Undoubtedly we have had our struggles and our mistakes. However, my trust lies within the systems we have in place, and what's more, the American people. Team USA's job is to show the world that our people live with class, respect and character. We do this by exhibiting these qualities every way we can. From my experience I think the USA swimming team does this with great success...and we will continue to do so. Thank you for all of your support. We greatly appreciate it.


sisterlynn said...

I agree with you -- the US Swim team shows nothing but class! Congratulations, and good luck

Adin said...

Good Luck, ill be cheering you on!

LisieMern said...

Can't think of a better group of young men and womem to represent our country. Traveling mercies.

Teresa said...

Hey, Garrett,
I've been shoveling snow for the past five days and am just getting a chance to catch up on always inspiring, wonderful, and fun blog. It helps me (a middle-age swimmer) to keep going.

You, too, remind me of what I have always loved about swimming competitively for the past 41 years: that swimmers are more than the sum of their sport. Thank you for knowing and living this. Our country is blessed that you chose to push yourself to become such a great swimmer who represents us abroad.

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