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Welcome

Thank you for stopping by.  My name is Sergio Lopez Miro and I have been involved in the swimming world as a swimmer or as a coach for almost 40 years.  Swimming has given me a path in life and my goal is to share some of my thoughts and experiences here with you.  Let me know what you think and enjoy!

 

 

Saturday
Jul142012

"The Defining Moment of Your Swimming Career"

My swimmers are tired of hearing from me when we are about to do something important (although everything is important :-) at practice: " Guys this is The Defining Moment of Your Swimming Career". They just to think it was funny now it is just a phrase. What they don't really understand is there are many moments each day that will define our life and will send us at a new and exciting path in our life. Like the picture above was one of the defining moments in my swimming career and the path I was going to take at a hard moment in my life.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking on the phone with my old coach and one of my best friends Joszef Nagy and in a challenging way (like always for Jozsi) he asked me that if he emailed me an old picture, if I could tell him if I remembered our conversation at that moment in time. In less than thirty seconds after receiving the email I emailed him back with the answer.

The picture is from the summer of 1989 when Mike Barrowman invited me to train with him at Curl Burke Swim Club. Mike swam for the University of Michigan and I swam for Indiana University. Joszef had asked Mike to find a training partner for the summer and he heard that I was a good trainer, so he asked me if I would like to train with him that summer that he was coached by a very good Hungarian coach. He told me great things about Joszef, but most important for me was that since I knew I was going to transfer schools that if I went back to Spain it would be very dif difficult for me to really make a good choice. I thought if I go to train with him in Washington DC it would be a lot easier for me to keep in contact with the college coaches and also go on few recruiting visits.

My first choice was Texas since for two years I watched many coaches interact with his swimmers and I thought Eddie Reese was the best, but I also took recruiting trips to Florida, UCLA. I was going to go and take a recruiting visit to Texas and Arizona when the moment that will change my life was capture by this picture.

Jozsef in that instant asked me: "Sergio what are you looking for in a University? What do you want?" My answer was "I just want to find a coach that will coach me and take care of me, so I can be the best I can be at the 92 Olympics in my hometown. I also need a scholarship so I can afford my education". He looked at me and he said " What about if I get a job as an assistant at a school in the DC area, would you stay and train with me if you had a scholarship" and my answer was "YES".

In the weeks that I had been training with him we became close, probably because my way of thinking and my Spanish background. We had very similar backgrounds and we connected very well at the intellectual level. I had no doubts that after my short experience with him he could help me be the best in my hometown at the '92 Olympic Games.

I am very thankful for that moment and now to have it in this picture is even better. That moment in time really defined my life in a way that I can only be thankful. it brought me some very hard times, like my friendship with Mike since he and his parents thought that I was trying to steel his coach. After a while he realized that it was probably the best thing that could had happened since now he would have a good training partner that would help him train to achieve his ultimate goal. Win the Gold medal at the Olympics. Who better than me that I was there to remind him every set, every day that in the 88 Games I got a medal and he got fourth.

After a couple of weeks I contacted all the college coaches that were recruiting me and told them that I made my decision to stay in DC. I did not know where since I had to wait until Joszef got a  job as an assistant. So I went back to Spain and waited until one day he called me and told me that he was an assistant at The American University and that the papers for the scholarship were in the mail. The rest is history ;-)

Now, in the '92 Games I did not get what I wanted, and I swam slower than my personal best from two years earlier. It was devastating to get fourth at the Olympics and more in your hometown where I was expected to at least to win a medal. But the decision at that time gave me something far better than any medal. It started another path to a great life full of great experiences as a swimmer and as a person but most important it lead me to meet my wife Sandy. I met Sandy first day in school and even though we did not go out until eight months later it has been already twenty two years together which has provided us with two great kids (Harley & Cobi) and a very interesting life around different countries. Sandy has helped me me through very hard times as a swimmer and as coach, plus she is an amazing mother to our kids, and that is why I believe 100% that this picture was a "Defining Moment In My Life Career".

Thank you Joszef for sharing it with me, so I can share it with my swimmers and hopefully when I tell them that " this is the Defining Moment of Your Swimming Careers" they understand what I mean.

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Reader Comments (7)

Thanks for your story my old friend.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoque Sanots

Great story Sergi :)! gracias per compartir.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos LM

Thanks for sharing Sergi. Yes, we all have those moments in life. And not just once. It's your task to catch them in time.
Una abraçada ben forta i molts molts èxits!

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuillem Lopez

Gracies Guillem i espero que tot et vaigi molt be. Cuidat i per molts moments com aquet

July 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterSergio Lopez Miro

Great story Sergio. I had no idea Coach Nagy spent time at AU. Best wishes!

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Brennan

Thanks for sharing Sergio! All the best in London!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Thank you for sharing this awesome story, Sergio. It was great seeing you down in Jacksonville. Best luck with everything and keep up the great blogs!

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Guntoro

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