Olympics shed light on local sports | SierraSun.com

Olympics shed light on local sports

Dan Ingalls
Special to the Sun

Provided to the SunMolly Ingalls and Sarah Westmoreland of the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team score a photo with U.S gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps during a Nike swim camp at Stanford University this past July. Their stay coincided with a U.S. swim team training camp.

With the intensity of the Olympics Games reaching its end, many of us may lose sight of the athletic accomplishments the world has offered us over recent days and nights.

However, some of the images pouring out of Beijing are sure to become cornerstone memories. Athletic inspiration has the power to move us to new heights, shape lives and draw our world closer to harmony, no matter how brief.

The number of Olympians living in our region is very high. So high, that it might seem commonplace to know, see or chat with one of these distinguished residents. Standing in line at the post office with Daron Rahlves or on the pool deck with Debbie Meyer should bring honor to all of us in that moment of contact.

Prior to breaking countless records and captivating the nation in the 2008 Games, the U.S. Swim Team assembled on the Stanford University campus for a training camp this past July. By chance, three members of the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team (TTST) attended a Nike camp at Stanford at the same time, allowing them the opportunity to rub shoulders with the U.S. swimmers during their Olympic preparation.

Spending a week with the nation’s swimming elite, Brittany Percin, Molly Ingalls and Sarah Westmoreland got to analyze stroke technique and see the science of moving through the water at record pace close up and personal.

As the season begins for the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team, keep an eye on the affects of athletic inspiration on our local aquatic athletes. With newly found household names as idols, like Michael Phelps, heroes like Dara Torres and a coach like Debbie Meyer, our local swimmers have truly been surrounded and touched by legends.

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Swimmers in Truckee have historically suffered from a lack of athletic respect for their tremendous output of year-round effort and life-shaping accomplishments. Other sports also suffer from the same relative obscurity of their endeavors.

Look to the intensity of these recently past Olympic Games to draw your attention to something different in sport. Reach out to the lacrosse players, the BMX riders and the swimmers of our community, pat them on the back, giving them the respect and recognition they all deserve.

Dan Ingalls is a local resident and parent with the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team.