Like a lot of my fellow swimmers, I tend to be very clumsy both on land, and even sometimes in the water. It’s for this reason that I have to decided to compile a list of my top three most awkward/embarrassing moments as a competitive swimmer.
1. The first actually happened in the water one day while I was at an outdoor training camp in Florida with my team mates. It was pretty windy, and we were doing sprints of our best stroke. Mine happens to be backstroke and, just my luck, I misjudged the distance between the flags, which were blowing thanks to the steady breeze, and the wall. When I arched backwards to do a dolphin-kick finish, I smacked my face into the wall, breaking the nose piece of my goggles and nearly breaking my nose. I had to make a run for the bathroom with one hand catching the blood as the lifeguard on duty tried unsuccessfully to hold in his laughter.
2. During another incident, I punched an official in the face. OK wait, let me backtrack, because that sounds really awful… I was at a competition and was taking part in the relay team. I was in the zone, ready to attack the water, and was in the midst of completing my relay takeover. I swung my arms around and into streamline, but not without smacking the timer standing nearby right in the face. And- me being my awkward self- I shouted in midair during my dive “SORRY!” and nearly belly-flopped into the water.
3. My third and final anecdote is probably also the one that will make swimmers everywhere cringe- the time I unknowingly dissed Michael Phelps. Three summers ago I raced at a meet called Canada Cup (those Canadians, eh?), and Phelps happened to be one of the international swimmers there. I was sitting with my friend in a quiet corner of the warm down pool when he walked by us. As in, he was two measly metres away from me, and looking in our direction. But for some reason, I just looked back at him with a deadpan face, my mind completely unaware that the greatest swimmer in the world was in arms’ reach. NOBODY looks at Phelps and doesn’t freak out, but in my defence he was sporting a full beard, baseball cap, and was fully clothed. Needless to say, after realizing my mistake I was left feeling pretty shameful.
Let us know your most awkward/embarrassing moments…