I Consider This One of the Greatest Athletic Feats I’ve Ever Witnessed

As another day goes by of feeling sub-par, I was reminded of one of the greatest achievements in sports that I’ve witnessed.

I don’t remember the exact year; it was either 1977, 1978, or 1979.

The setting was the NCAA Division 2 National Swimming Championships, and the event was the 1,650-yard freestyle.

Larry Gates of Chico State was the favorite, but the rumor was that he had a 102-degree temperature.

I currently have a temperature of about 100 degrees, and I’ve been in the fetal position for close to 36 hours. How Gates managed to swim, and win, an event that takes about 15-16 minutes is beyond me.

The other thing I remember about those championships is that Chico State had the greatest warm-ups. It said “Chico State is” on the front, and “Back” on the back, with a big picture of the Pink Panther. I really wanted one of those, but none of the guys on Chico State’s team wanted to trade for an East Stroudsburg warm-up.

So I figured if Gates could do that the least I could do is write my blog for the day.

P.S. Maybe some of my teammates can fill in some of the details here…




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