It is hard to believe it was 10 years ago on August 9th, 2008 that one of the greatest moments in all of swimming history took place. It was one of several miracle moments that week as the swimming gods were shining brightly on many of the members of Team USA, especially Michael Phelps has he started his Herculean task on Aug 8, 2008 (8-8-08) to win 8 gold medals in 8 records in 8 days. The one gold medal race most in question was the 4x100 free relay where the French had put together a squad that the experts had said couldn't be beat. They said that it was basically impossible for the USA to win.
But the 32 year old Captain of Team USA Jason Lezak didn't care about the French relay stats, he only knew the sting of getting silver in this race in Sydney 2000 and the even more bitter taste of bronze in Athens 2004. He only focused on the incredible work and sacrifices that he and his young family had made to make it to his third Olympics. Even though he was without a coach for 3 years, he wrote his own workouts and primarily trained by himself. Most athletes on the their third Olympics at that age trying to balance business, sponsors, training and family do not always fare well. But Jason Lezak only focused on his race and the hard work he had done to get the gold medal back to America.
As the race unfolded, the goal of giving Jason a huge lead to hold of the French didn't exactly happen. Even though Phelps, Weber-Gale and Cullen Jones had incredible, lifetime best splits the French were still almost a body length ahead when Jason dove in.
What would you do if you dove in a body length behind the world record holder? Would you think, "Silver is okay." Aren't you glad Jason didn't think that? Thankfully Jason didn't give up! He stayed positive and a thousand times his mind in that :46.06 seconds he determined to not give up!
As you all know, Jason had a miracle swim that was the fastest split of all time where he had burst of energy at the 75m mark that he had never felt before. Jason proved that the impossible is possible!
No one has gone close to that time before or since and it now has legendary status as one of the most watched Olympic swim races of all time. I was there that day in Beijing watching it with my own eyes and I will never forget it. Even now 10 years later when I am having an off day and the circumstances seem overwhelming I watch that race and remind myself that the impossible is possible!
You can watch the race here when you're in need of a little inspiration:
Men's 4x100 freestyle relay Beijing 2008
Here is an article about that moment as well:
Jason would love to come to your team and only works with Breakout Swim Clinics. Call today and let Jason inspire your team to dream big and work harder than ever because miracles do happen!