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01/06/2006

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  2006


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CSZ MAGAZINE FRONT PAGE
 


 

Now Available: Janet Evans' Total Swimming Book -- June 30, 2007

PHOENIX, Arizona, June 28. IMPROVE your fitness level, achieve your swimming goals and maximize your workouts with the help of four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans!

Whether you have been swimming laps for years, want to get back into the water, or have a competitive streak for Masters meets or triathlons, Janet Evans' Total Swimming has you covered.

A total of 60 workouts and 12 progressive programs allow you to tailor your swim sessions by distance, intensity and goal. The gold-medal information also details proper stroke technique, advantages of various gear, concepts such as interval sets and training phases and making each workout more productive by stretching, building core strength, warming up and cooling down.

So dive into Janet Evans' Total Swimming and begin training with one of swimming's all-time legends

 

 

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Kristy Kowal


 

Kristy Kowal, a medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, might have moved on in life, but anyone who met this young woman will never forget her. She talks about what swimming brought her, and where she is now, in this weeks 20 Question Tuesday with special correspondent Bob Schaller.

 

1 What are you up to?

Kristy: I just finished my second year of teaching third grade back home in Reading, Pa., at Whitfield Elementary School in the Wilson School District.  I actually am teaching in the same elementary school I went to sixth grade in.

 

2 How did you get into teaching?

Kristy: My mother is a teacher, and I thought it was the coolest job in the world to get to hang out with kids all day long.  She teaches 6th-8th grade, but I prefer to stick with younger kids. 

 

3 Can you please tell us about the town you are in?

Kristy: I am living in Wyomissing, Pa., which is a suburb of Reading.  Its where I was born and raised, and I love being back home. Most of my family is within a 10-minute drive of my house.  Its funny, everywhere I go, I run into someone who knows one of my family members. My grandmother was the youngest of 10. Its the Six Degrees of Separation.   Reading itself has about 75,000 people living in it, but definitely can have a small town feel to it.

 

4 What's teaching like?

Kristy: I love teaching. My favorite thing in the world is when a student finally gets something that you are trying to teach them, and its like you can see a light go on in their eyes.  I think I have the best job in the world.  The greatest feeling is at the end of the day, knowing you have taught a child something totally and completely new and they will remember it (hopefully!) for the rest of their lives. The days are long, and a teacher never is finished with their job when the kids walk out of the classroom. There have been many nights where I am still grading students work until bedtime.  If you arent completely exhausted at the end of a school day, it wasnt a good day.

 

5 Do you still swim and how much?

Kristy: I havent swum in about two years. However, I did get back in the water this past week at a Total Performance Camp I did at Kenyon College.  Roque Santos and I were doing demonstrations, and it felt really good to get back in the water. It was strange, but I felt like I hadnt ever stopped swimming.   BJ Bedford just sent me some Nike suits, so my goal this summer is to swim at least three mornings a week.

 

6 What else do you do for workouts?

Kristy: I took a long time off of working out. But now, I like to go to spinning classes. I have been running a bit, and I just started taking classes at my gym called Down Under. The instructor is from Australia, and it is THE hardest workout on dry land I have ever done in my life. Its a combination of cardio and plyometrics. Its hard, but I love it.  I am a person who needs a friend to go to the gym with. I get bored trying to work out by myself, but I suppose that comes from years of swimming up and down a black line. Plus, I am on my feet all day long. I wore a pedometer one day to class, and lets just say I definitely got my 10,000 steps a day in.

 

7 How much and with whom do you stay in touch with from the swimming days?

Kristy: I try to keep in touch with as many of my teammates as possible, and it is much easier to do during the summer. Last summer, I traveled around so much, I was only in town for 12 days before school started up again.  I just got back from visiting Amanda Schneider (Adkins), who was my teammate and training partner  in Georgia and Sydney.  I am heading up to Boston this weekend for Samantha Arsenaults wedding, so that should be a big swimming reunion. I just got a phone call from Maritza Correia yesterday, and I talk to Stefanie Williams, who is a fellow PA native, on the phone every day. The great thing about my friends is, even if you dont talk to them for weeks, or months, we pick right back up where we left off. 

 

8 What's the biggest swim memory that stands out that you have?

Kristy: Itd be easy to say winning a silver medal in Sydney is my biggest memory, but I am going to have to go with the 200 breast at Trials in 2000.  Two days earlier, I had been touched out of a spot on the team by .01 of a second in the 100.  Four years earlier I had missed the team in Atlanta by .17 of a second (and landed the cover of Swimming World with a picture of me crying).  Finally making the team in 2000 in the 200 breast, that race, in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, made up for every disappointment I had ever had in my swimming career.  The silver at the Olympics was the icing on the cake.

  

9 What did swimming teach you about yourself?

Kristy:  Swimming taught me how strong of a person I am.  I fully believe how you react to situations determines what type of person you are. Disappointment can either make you stronger or it can knock you down. Someone once called me The Poster Child for Disappointment at Trials. Getting third place at Trials, in three separate Trials, (1996, 2000 and 2004) that can take a toll on you and make you doubt yourself.  I think my experiences have made me stronger, and I have become a better person through this sport.  Ive learned how to bounce back in the face of adversity.

 

10 When do we expect a bunch of little Kristys running around? You are, after all, great with kids!

Kristy: (laughs) Well, I am not sure when you can expect any little Kristys, but, I feel like with my students, I have 24 kids every year, and that is a huge family. Plus I am having fun being Aunt Kristy with all of my friends little ones.

 

11 What's the 10-year plan? Will you stay in education, any plans for administration or things like that?

Kristy: Thats a tough question. I love teaching, so I dont think I would ever opt to be an administrator. I like being involved directly with students, but maybe in 10 years Ill be coaching in addition to teaching. Ill have to wait and see.

 

12 How much do you follow the sport now?

Kristy:  I still have friends and former teammates swimming, so I try and follow it as much as possible. I watch the meets when they are on TV, and I went to NCAAs when they are in Georgia.  I am planning on coming out to Trials next summer. I still get butterflies in my stomach when the 200 breast is up.

 

13 Who is one male and one female swimmer you are following heading into the 2008 Games?

Kristy: I only get to pick one?! Okay, male, I am going with Michael Phelps.  The first time I met him, he was a little brother of one of my Pan Pac teammates back in 1995. Now look at him! He is such a great ambassador for the sport. Hes done so much to bring swimming into homes across the world. I am fully amazed with how well he handles the success he has had.  Female, this is tough to pick just one. I am going with Teresa Crippen.  I have had the opportunity to train with her, and I went to Germantown twice this year to help her with her breaststroke.  She is one to watch in the future. Shes tough, hardworking, talented, the full package. Shes going to be around for a long time.

 

14 What do you think of Dara Torres' comeback?

Kristy: I think its awesome. Shes going to make the team, and I hope I can be there to see it happen. Theres not a single doubt in my mind that shell make the team. If anyone can make a comeback like this, its Dara.

 

15 How big is swimming where you are now?

Kristy: In Pennsylvania, high school swimming is very big. And this state seems to have a great tradition of producing breaststrokers, Jeremy Linn, Brendan Hansen, Kristen Woodring, Anita Nall, Kyle Salyards.  And we were all within a two-hour radius of each other.

 

16 Do the kids you teach know about your amazing swim career? Do you still get recognized?

Kristy: I do still get recognized around here sometimes. Funny you mention it.  I got recognized tonight when I went food shopping.  My students I teach now were 1 during the Sydney Games, which makes me feel old. But, yes, they do know about my career. I use swimming in my lessons, like when we were learning about tenths and hundredths, the kids thought it was like saying one-one hundred. So I showed them races from Trials. The looks on their faces was priceless.  I think the only regret they have in having me as a teacher is they cant use the old, I had to go to practice so I didnt get to do my homework. That one does NOT fly in my classroom. The kids have it memorized by the end of the year. Miss Kowal swam five hours a day and still got her homework finished.

 

17 How much do you miss UGA and do you stay in touch with Jack Bauerle?

Kristy: I miss Georgia so much. It was home for so long and such a fantastic town. I wish I could have stayed there forever. That town will always hold a very special place in my heart. And Jack, I dont even know where to begin. He was like a second father to me, still is. I try to stay in touch with him as much as possible but he is incredibly busy. I did get a phone call from him this year at 6:30 a.m., asking me if I thought Id missed morning practice when the phone rang.

 

18 Have you been able to look back at your career and see how much youve accomplished?

Kristy: Its strange. I was watching a video of myself at a camp this week, and for the first time it hit me. I was like, wow, that was me, I did all of that. Sometimes its hard to believe what I have accomplished.  I am a very lucky person.  In my life, I have reached every single goal I have ever set for myself, and for that I am grateful. 

 

19 Do you see yourself staying in Pennsylvania forever, or might there be another move?

Kristy: For now, I am staying in Pennsylvania. I am a homeowner now. That changes everything. But who knows what the future holds.  I am extremely close to my friends and family and love being so close to them. Once I came back from Georgia, I knew that moving away again would be incredibly difficult. 

 

20 What else is going on personally that you can share with us  a new hobby or club?

Kristy: Lets go with a new hobby. This year, I decided to try something new. I decided to try a land sport and take after my younger brother, who was a NCAA All-American volleyball player, and I played on a competitive volleyball team. He even came to one of my games but he made me really nervous. I wanted him to sub in for me. His advice to me was jump higher and hit harder.  Thats like telling someone to jump in the pool and move their arms and legs. Luckily, my teammates were great in teaching me how to play and they were very patient. I had the best time.  Ive had some major changes in my life the last two years, and I have been trying to make myself try things that are new and outside my comfort level.  This was definitely one of those times.

 

 

 

 

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