Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another swim meet

Tori’s swim team recently hosted a swim meet here in Hong Kong for a number of teams in region. I thought it might not be as exciting as our past meet which we travelled to but it was. Playing with older kids on the team while waiting for her races, Tori had a great time. When a more serious swimmer that we know asked Tori what she would be doing at the meet tomorrow- meaning what races- Tori very sweetly replied that she would be playing in the gym most of the day. That was an accurate summary of her fun weekend.

Tori had some good swims, typically taking about 10 seconds off each event (ah- it is great to be eight!) One of my favorite of Tori’s swims was her 50 meter breast stroke. The meet started early and we almost missed the event. Phil rushed Tori into the pool as the heat before her was already in the water. Tori jumped up on the blocks and took off. Towards the end of the race, she actually looked around at her fellow swimmers and then sprinted to finish first in her heat. I also enjoyed seeing her do her first flip turn in the meet. Exciting stuff, at least for family members.

I had a pretty good vantage point for the swimming action as I spent a good part of the meet as one of the stroke and turn judges. This was a pretty good job, particularly as we were not disqualifying anyone under the age of 10. I got to see the full range of the sport from little kids swimming unbearably slow to the premier swimmer on Tori’s team swimming her last race before college. (She will be back to swim in the East Asian Games in December, an event to which we are already angling to volunteer at and get numerous tickets for). Among the parents and coaches, there were many life long competitive swimmers, including one Olympic medalist, at the meet watching the swims. Perhaps watching their own kids more closely but still following the action at large. The number of combined swimming years on the deck seemed staggering to me. And oddly comforting.

In her early years with the sport, Tori is all enthusiasm. For this meet, she was put on her team’s A 8-under relay team, which went on to win both relays. All four members of the relay received blue heat winner ribbons right at the end of their swim. Thrilled, Tori went home with Phil and the twins while I stayed to do stroke and turn for the rest of the meet. During the clean up, someone handed me Tori’s first place medal for that relay race. When I gave it to her at home that night, she said in hushed awe, “I didn’t think it could get any better than the heat winner ribbon!” I think she might be hooked in to the sport, at least for a decade or two.


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