Chloe Sutton of the Mission Viejo Nadadores was asked a series of questions prior to departing for Beijing for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.
Here are her answers:
Q1. Open water swimming is the one of the few sports at the Olympics where your coach actually helps you during the race by handing you water bottles from a floating pontoon. Do you get nervous when you are approaching the feeding station? What are you thinking about when you are at the feeding station?
A2. Yes, everyone always gets more physical in the last 25 yards coming to the feeding stations. You always have to establish the need for your own space. It is always a race to get in a good position at the feeding [pontoon]. Paul Asmuth has fed me in my major races in Seville and Beijing. I trust him and he knows what I like.
First, I find him [on the floating feeding pontoon] and I also listen for his voice [as he yells my name]. I also look for the USA flag at the end of the feeding stick. We put a USA flag at the end of the feeding stick so it is easier to find from the water.
It is now so natural, but in the beginning [of my career], I used to get nervous and be shaky. Now, I can get to Paul, grab my bottle filled with Gatorade and 2 gel packs. We mix the gel packs with the Gatorade so I only take a few seconds to drink everything.
Q2. What happens if you and Paul do not have a good exchange?
A2. Then I will take the gel packs that I put inside my swim suit before the race.
Photo of Chloe Sutton in Beijing after the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race on May 31, 2008. Photo by Pei Qingsheng.
Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association