Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard hasn’t been seen much, if at all, in competition since the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. But she’s not done swimming yet.
“The way that I look on my swimming career is as long as I’m physically capable of doing it,” Beard told the Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register. “I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say, ‘Man, I could’ve kept swimming. Why didn’t I do it when I had the chance and opportunity?’ Whether or not you make the Olympics, who cares?”
Beard, 32, attempted to make her fifth straight U.S. Olympic Team in 2012 but finished fifth in the 200m breaststroke and 10th in the 100m breast at the Olympic Trials, where only the top two made the team for London.
She gave birth to her second child in June 2013, daughter Doone, and appeared on the reality show “Celebrity Wife Swap” in June of this year. Still, she swims.
“Swimming is kind of my hobby that I take pretty seriously,” Beard said, according to the newspaper.
Beard burst onto the scene at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, where she won two silvers and one gold as a teddy bear-toting 14-year-old.
“To think back about being 14 and winning a gold medal, it kind of boggles my mind a little bit that I was at that point in my life to be able to do something like that,” Beard said.
U.S. Swimming Championships entry lists released
With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.