November 28, 2012

Brookwood Grad Amanda Weir Becomes an Olympian

Last night was the Brookwood Cross Country team’s Awards Banquet.  We attended for my son in his first year on the team.  After the first two hours of awards were given out, my mind started wandering.  I noticed up high on the trophy wall a plaque showing the Swim Teams records for both the women’s and the men’s teams.  To my astonishment, I saw Amanda Weir’s name boldly still on there in 4 places!  Memories of the recent London Olympics started playing out in my mind as it wandered further from the clapping and cheering going on around me.  

What impressed me is that a local girl at the high school my son was currently attending had medaled at the Olympics.  I looked around the room and wondered if any of these kids, doing so well in their sport of Cross Country, would ever grace the track at one of the upcoming Olympic Games.  

Amanda Weir was born in Iowa but started swimming after her family moved to Minnesota.  Taller than most of the other girls, she immediately showed proficiency in swimming.  (Remember that Michael Phelps, another Olympian, is extremely tall.  Height seems to be a real advantage for swimmers.)  She set her first record at age 12 and still dominates the USA Swimming league record books in the various age groups.  At Brookwood and over 6 feet tall, she dominated freestyle and butterfly, setting school records.  In all of her freestyle events she set Gwinnett County records, and in one, she even set a State record that still stands.  She led the Brookwood team to win the State Championships each year of her High school career from 2000-2004.  

After graduation, she competed in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, winning two Silver medals as part of two different relay teams.  She hurried home to start college and it was over quickly.  She narrowly missed qualifying for the 2008 games.  Working hard, she won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics as part of the US 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay team.  She said, “Relays are so fun. "You're going to go fast because you have to. You're swimming for your teammates and your country. I don't get as nervous for relays. You've got a job and you don't have a choice. There's not a question if you're going to go fast or not. You have to."

This local woman, who as a teenager walked the halls of our Brookwood High, now holds 3 Olympic medals.  It can happen to anyone with talent who is willing to work hard and follow his or her coaches advice.  What is stopping any of us ordinary people from becoming Olympic-quality athletes or millionaire-quality businessmen?  Nothing but talent and a lot of hard work! 

Hammock, Will.  “Brookwood’s Weir has high hopes for second Olympics.”  Gwinnett Daily Post.  July 27, 2012.  n. pag. Web.  Nov. 28, 2012.

 “Amanda Weir.”  Wikipedia.  Nov. 15, 2012, retrieved Nov. 28, 2012.

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