Friday, October 06, 2006

Travel Bit: North Baltimore Aquatic Club Breakfast

To begin my trip for the Berlin marathon I went to Baltimore to rendezvous with my friend John Kamauff (JK). We used a two-for-one air travel deal for the major part of our travels and that required traveling together, so I caught up with him and his family there.

Our flight was in the afternoon, so JK and I (with JK's wife Susan) were able to attend the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) "A Breakfast for our Champions". It was a fundraiser celebrating "the 40th anniversary of the founding of America's Greatest Swim Team". It would have been great to attend the cocktail party the night before too (JK and Susan went), but my sleep schedule didn't permit.

NBAC is clearly a special organisation. How special? There were 17 champions on the programme; they were scattered around the room, anchoring guest tables. Here are the top two, both of whom were in attendance and spoke later: Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. Michael Phelps is an NBAC alumnus, and made the time in his schedule to travel back for the event. Katie Hoff is a current member.

[Triathlon-oriented Aside: Bold, TriBoomer: Joanna Zeiger was also listed in the programme, but I don't recall seeing her there.]

At the end I took the opportunity of introducing myself to Bob Bowman. He was a coach with NBAC, was on the 2004 Olympic staff, and is Michael Phelps' coach and coach of University of Michigan's men's swimming. I knew that he would be interested in meeting one of Coach Mike's masters swimmers and getting a quick personal update.

That all made for an inspirational kick-off for Berlin. And I'm still left pondering how some organisations gel into something really special and others... just don't.

The complete list of NBAC Champions for the event per the programme:
Wendy Weinberg Weil - 1976 Olympics
Polly Winde Surhoff - 1982 World Championships [aside: Susan's friend!]
Theresa Andrews - 1984 Olympics
Patrick Kennedy - 1984 Olympics
Rowdy Gaines - 1984 Olympics
Julie Gorman - 1990 World Championships
Julie Kole - 1990 World Championships
Jill Johnson Chasson - 1992 Olympics
Anita Nall Richesson - 1992 Olympics
Whitney Phelps Flickinger - 1994 World Championships
Casey Barrett - 1996 Olympics [aside: he anchored our table]
Beth Botsford Vencil - 1996 Olympics
Whitney Metzler Krosse - 1996 Olympics
Joanna Zeiger - 2000 Olympics
Michael Phelps - 2000 and 2004 Olympics
Kevin Clements - 2003 World Championships
Katie Hoff - 2004 Olympics

Murray Stephens - 1996 Olympic Staff [aside: head coach & driving force for NBAC]
Bob Bowman - 2004 Olympic Staff
Paul Yetter - 2005 World Championship Staff


Blogger Wendy said...

The focus on the upcoming marathon instead of cocktails was a good choice given your result in Berlin.

But cocktails with Bob Bowman and Rowdy Gaines in the same room ... suddenly I am jealous of Johnny and Susan!

Special organizations, winning teams, they're something of an intangible. Not pure talent, nor organization, nor motivation, nor tradition, nor coaching, nor support, but certainly a mixture of some or all of those things, fueled by commitment, desire, faith ...

10/07/2006 05:35:00 pm  

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