Sunday, August 17, 2008

THANK YOU ALL - It has been amazing!

Hello from Beijing!

What a great place to be, The Games have been amazing, the people been unbelievable and most important this is an experience that I will never forget in my life.

Watching our Bolles swimmers perform the way they did at the FASTEST meet in the history of swimming has been very special and all of you back home should be proud of our team. Our Tradition is an amazing one but our Future is even more amazing. Being here and watching our swimmers swim with the determination, passion and without fear has been very inspirational. I know that there is no way I can pull a Dara Torres and come back and swim at my old level, I can’t probably make it 25 yards without having my heart rate at 320, but being here has really giving me an incredible burst of energy and desire to keep learning and coaching better every day. I hope you all feel the same way after watching such amazing races.

Personally it has been amazing to be here and be able to watch such fast meet, watch people warm up and get ready for the races, see some of my old teammates that now are coaches or some of my old coaches that still coach. Also I have seen 4 of my old swimmers that I had the privilege of coaching in college, one of them got a silver and two golds, amazing! Once in a lifetime experience.

If I don’t forget anyone I believe that we had 17 Bolles current swimmers, alumni or coaches participating at the 2008 Olympic Games. I can assure you that there are not many (if any) teams in the world with such a TRADITION and with such success at this level. It gives me Goosebumps just to think that I have the privilege of being involved in such an amazing organization which keeps producing greatness in our sport.

Here is a summary of what our current Bolles swimmers have done at the 29th Olympiad:

Our 2007-08 Bolles Swimmers have broken a total of 6 National records out of 8 events that they participated between the six of them:

Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or (Israel): Nimrod will be a freshman this new 2008-09 season at the University of Arizona. He swam an amazing 1:47.78 in the 200 Free that qualified him 15th for the semi-finals and then he swam a little slower 1:48.1 but still managed to place 15th. Also in the 100 Free he swam a 49.10 that is a personal best by over a full second. Nimrod broke both Senior National records at the Games.

Danielle Beaubrun (St. Lucia): Danielle swam an amazing race in the 100 Breaststroke with a new Senior National Record in 1:12.85 seconds. She had a huge 2.3 seconds improvement over her personal best. Danielle will be returning to Bolles for her Senior year. Danielle has had a hard time performing in the last big meets at a high level and to watch her swim the way she swam at the Olympics was something that I will never forget. I was so happy for her that she made me cry ;-).

Anna Vanderpool-Wallace (Bahamas): Anna had two great swim with two National records. She swam an impressive 55.61 in the 100 free, but I know she could had gone at least 0.5 seconds faster since she did not take a breath the first 30 meters and she paid it off at the end of the race. Her 50 Free was amazing, she swam a 25.40 and qualified 24th and after watching the way she swam the 50 I knew for sure that I was right about the 100. She looked amazing! Anna will be starting her freshman year at Auburn next week. Another thing that I want you to take note is that Anna right before the 50 Free race lost her goggles. She was going crazy and I could not believe that she did not have an extra pair in her bag. This is the Olympics (I was thinking) and I was trying not to get upset and at the same time I went around the pool deck trying to find a pair of goggles. We are talking 10 minutes before the 50 Free starts. Finally we got a pair from a swimmer from Romania and another pair from a swimmer from Singapore (I believe). Well things worked out for her and she swam well. Remember what I always tell you, when you are packing for a meet make sure that you pack extra of everything (suit, goggles, etc…) you never know what will happen.

Rodion Davelaar (Netherlands Antilles): Rodion did not swim a best time and I felt very bad for him. Everything that he did in practice showed us that he was ready to swim very fast. He had amazing start and his first 35 meters were great. He was going to go 23.4-5 but then he started to spin and he was not catching water which slowed him down a bunch. He swam a 24.21 which was 0.11 off his best time. Rodion will be a freshman at the University of Florida which will start today with freshman orientation. Rodion left yesterday from Beijing.

Ryan Arabejo (Philippines): Ryan did not have a very good 1500 Free. I could not believe what happened to him. It was the same day that Anna’s incident with her goggles but this was 10 minutes before we had Anna’s situation. Ryan suit just ripped and sure enough he did not have any other suit. I could not believe that he did not bring one or two suits as back ups. But the only thing I could do at that time was to find another suit. After talking with many countries we were out of luck. He uses a size 22 and it was too small to find a size for him at that time. Finally after trying a couple of full bodies he decided to swim with a size 24. I don’t want to give any excuses but I have no doubts that he was out mentally. Coach Jon has done an amazing job with Ryan’s training and Ryan was swimming unbelievable during training camp and during the days before the race here in Beijing. With all that he only swam two seconds off his best time which in such a long race it is nothing. Ryan is returning to Bolles for his Senior year.

Daniel Coakley (Philippines): Daniel swam the 50 Free and did a very good job. He swam a personal best with a time of 22.69. He also had amazing start and first 30 meters and then he started spinning a little. Another National record and very good swim for the first time at a meet like this. Daniel will be a freshman at Indian River Community College this next season.

As you can see we had great success with our Bolles swimmers at this games and most important is that they gained a huge experience that if they keep working and competing this way they will be very competitive at the next Olympic Games.

Here is a list of the Bolles alumni that swam at the Olympics:
George Bovell (Trinidad Tobago)
Nicholas Bovell (Trinidad Tobago)
Shaune Frazer (Cayman Islands)
Omar Pinzon (Colombia)
Anja Carmen (Slovakia)
Yi Ting Siow (Malasia)

Here is the list of the Coaches that have coached at Bolles or that were swimmers at Bolles and now are coaches:
Gregg Troy (U.S.A.)
Anthony Nesty (Suriname)

As you can see we had 17 swimmers and coaches that have ties at Bolles that have participated in the 29th Olympiad and you need to BE PROUD to be part of such a great TRADITION. Now let’s make sure that we keep it going. Let’s make sure that now we start thinking about the 2012 Olympic Games in London and that make our TRADITION even stronger.

All this would not happen without the hard work of all the swimmers, coaches, parents, teachers, and everyone involved in The Bolles School and The Bolles Sharks Swim Team. From Beijing I want to THANK YOU all for making this a reality. You should be proud of being part of the Bolles Family and I hope this Games have given you some inspiration to excel at the highest level in the pool and in the classroom.

I am about the get into the plane to get back home and take few days off with my wife and kids. I really miss them and I can’t wait to just play with them and relax for few days. I know that the season will start today for the club and I am sorry that I won’t be there.

Again, THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK this past season and let’s have an even better 2008-09 season.





Coach Jessi said...

Coach Sergio you are a true inspiration to all at Bolles. Thank you for your leadership. Now lets make Bolles even more proud with a great 08-09 season!

michael said...

coach sergio
for nimrod , his last year with you was his best year ever in swimming , not only the resultd but you as an adult giving him all you have in your hart

go sergio go !!!!!