All kinds of different memories come to mind at the end of a race: the smell of chlorine, the cheers of friends and teammates, the setting of new goals. Every competition brings with it new experiences and, above all, lots of different emotions. But there is also another important thing to refresh our memories about our sporting achievements.
Anybody who gets the chance to visit the home of a swimmer in particular will soon realise just how many mementos are perfectly incorporated in the furnishing as memories of their records and personal bests.
There are swimmers whose rooms are literally full of dozens of cups carefully placed in overloaded showcases; their shelves are full of medals with their coloured ribbons along with shiny plaques and other trophies as detailed recollections of wonderful days and great victories, either individually or as part of their team.
We could also talk at great length about the most cherished item of any open-water swimming competition: the race pack. A real treasure chest for some swimmers, whose contents are always surprising. You will see athletes swarming around the desk handing out race packs looking for their own special “gift” with expressions on their faces like children on Christmas Day: nutritional products, pamphlets and, of course, the inevitable T-shirt.
Lots of athletes have simply stopped shopping for clothes since deciding that their race kits make a perfect wardrobe. You will see them wandering around in their free time wearing T-shirts whose logos and emblems tell us which competitions they have taken part in and successfully completed. And you will also notice them around the pool wearing swim caps with the names of races and competitions on them.
So now if we ever get the chance to visit a swimmer’s home, we will know that all those medals, cups and other memorabilia that we used to think were just an untidy part of the furnishing are actually something more than just a simple memento…