Do you remember the Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney? Well, I do. I remember a great and thrilling 50m Freestyle race won by two American guys, Gary Hall Jr. and Anthony Ervin, both in 21,98s!
And exactly with this Anthony Ervin I spent my first 2 weeks down in Islamorada. Let me try to be honest with you. When I first saw Anthony, I thought something like “Wow, this is him, this guy won the Olympic Games!?!”
I mean I don’t remember how Anthony looked in 2000. I just remember that I saw a great race on television. But it is like it is. Time changes and people do, too. Even when Anthony may, at first sight, not look like what you generally imagine thinking of an Olympic gold medalist, you can see when he’s swimming why this guy won gold. Looking at Anthony, it seems like the easiest thing to float on the water and swim with a long strong stroke through the pool. He’s for sure one of the most talented swimmers I ever saw.
And of course there is an Anthony Ervin outside the pool. He did everything to make me feel comfortable. He has been a friend. We just had a great time together that I shall never forget.
The house where we lived in for these 2 weeks was about 20 meters away from the water (canal to the sea). And one evening we had the luck to have a family of 4 manatees in front of the dock of our balcony. Neither Anthony nor I had ever seen these fantastic animals before. We gave them fresh water to drink and they liked it so much that they spent the whole evening in front of our dock drinking the fresh water.
Or we went out in the evening to have fun playing some Bowling (with Gary). Anthony and I were both not really talented bowlers (and no chance for us to beat Gary in this game) but it was big fun!
Anthony and I also had some good evenings just hanging out in front of the TV, watching bad or good movies. What I liked most? It was having Anthony playing his guitar and just listening to him. He started playing about 2 years ago and he makes his own music. He has some great ideas for songs and I really like his music. Much too fast, Anthony’s time at the Race Club was over and I had to say good-bye but I hope we shall meet again sometime in the future!
Anthony came down to Islamorada for more or less the same reason as I did. He wants to figure out what importance swimming will have in his future. Playing music and swimming, that’s what is in his head. And I honestly think that he could be a swimming rock star!
So, thanks Anthony, for the great time with you down in Islamorada and keep on rocking the pool!
This is a piece I wrote for the Race Club where you’ll find the original diary post “Islamorada with Anthony Ervin” as well as many others.