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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mid-Season Wrap up from INFINIT Athlete and Olympian Richard Hortness INFINIT

INFINIT Canada athlete and Olympic swimmer Richard Hortness has his eyes squarely fixed on the 2012 Olympic games in London. Enjoy this update about his mid-season preparations.

It has been a busy last three weeks with the first ever Pro Duel meet in Michigan where money was up for grabs if you were on the podium. Unfortunately when you take the best of the people that are training on the east coast of the country (Olympians, Olympic medalists and record holders etc) it meant that Joe and I went home empty handed, but filled with confidence for the next two weeks. 

So, if you missed it from my website, I was 8th and 6th at the Pro Duel with some pretty good times. Between there and the next meet, Darcy and I got engaged so that was an exciting time for both of us. So, we're looking at a year after the Olympics in case you were going to mark your calendar :)

The next weekend we went to Etobicoke for Canada Cup, and I dropped my times from the Pro Duel down some more which added more confidence there. I won in Etobicoke so i ended up walking away with a prize money cheque of $200 which didn't quite cover the costs of the meet but did make it easier on the pocket book :) 

So, this last weekend we went to US Nationals where you get a medal for being in the final... it's like a participation ribbon on steroids. The rowers in my house got jealous when they saw how big the medal was and compared it to the ones you get for winning or being on the podium at their world championships. 

I guess that spoils the surprise a bit, but the times continue to drop as we hit the pool in Atlanta. 
My 50 free was a good swim but nothing amazing. We are still working on getting a little more front-end speed back so that I can be in the mix for the win at Olympic trials in 3 months. I ended up coming 27th with a time of 23.25 after having gone a season best of 23.19 in the morning.

The exciting part was the 100! I was in a final with the most concentrated pool of Olympians and medalists and the likes that I have ever been in. Out of the 10 lanes, there were 4 international swimmers, 2 from France one from South Africa (Olympic Gold Medalist), and the rest of the Americans were all national team members except or maybe one of them (meaning nearly all of them also have at least one Olympic medal) So, the stage was set early in the morning when I raced another season best and went exactly 50.00 sec which just made me laugh. It is one of those barriers that people always try to get under. I have only done it twice in my life and never without a full body suit. So, I was hoping to be able to get under the cut at night but I made a couple of mistakes that did not necessarily cost me the 49 second mark but could have contributed to it. I ended up 9th in my heat but was happy to be able to hold my own in a field like that one.

Wow! Richard's preparations are going extremely well. Be sure to cheer for him at the Olympic trials in March. For more information about Richard and follow along as he gets closer to the 2012 Olympics, please visit his website at www.richardhortness.com.