We were on the starting blocks.
“Swimmers, take your marks.”
Each assumes the position, poised for the signal.
AAAAAAAAAA. Rather than a starter’s gun, the signal is an electronic buzz through speakers. It echoes in the high-ceilinged pool venue.
The swimmers uncoil, fly horizontally for a moment, and angle into the water with momentum pointed toward the other end of the pool.
As soon as the momentum wanes, with arms forward, legs moving together with a rhythmic dolphin kick, I initiate the first arm movement of the butterfly stroke, raising out of the water. The race is on.
In the individual medley (IM) event, all four competitive swimming strokes are employed, in the following order: butterfly, back stroke, breast stroke, and freestyle. This was a 200 meter IM in a 25 meter pool, so participants swim 50 meters, i.e., two lengths of the pool, of each stroke. If it was on a track, the distance is about half-way around…
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