Four time Olympic medalist Anthony Ervin joined fellow Olympians Dara Torres and Summer Sanders on CBS Sports’ “We Need to Talk” on Tuesday evening.
Ervin won his most recent gold medals in Rio, earning one individual medal in the 50-meter freestyle, and another in the 400 freestyle relay, which he anchored in the preliminary swim.
During his interview with Sanders and Torres, Ervin stated that the biggest difference between winning a gold medal as a teenager in Sydney and a gold medal at the age of 35 in Rio was that this time around he was prepared for the consequences.
“The biggest difference is I was prepared for what comes next.” Ervin said “This time around I think I knew what was going to come and I’m trying to do better at baring that mantle of responsibility.”
Among topics discussed, Ervin took time out to reflect on his memoir and autobiography Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian. Ervin’s novel, which he co-authored with swimmer and writer Constantine Markides, is a raw insight to Ervin’s journey both in and out of the pool. When Sanders asked Ervin why he felt necessary to give such an honest insight into his struggles, Ervin responded that he felt obligated and that it was necessary for him to open a dialogue on his “very human journey”. He went on to say that the “linear journey” that most athletes and role models reflect upon is not a part of any narrative Ervin desires to produce.
Ervin wrapped up his discussion explaining that it was the team chemistry and morale that lead to the U.S. Olympic Swim Team producing 33-medals. Ervin stated that Michael Phelps played a large role in the team cohesiveness this time around, not placing himself “on an island” and instead being a huge part of the team and experience.
Erving joined the all-female cast later in the show to discuss general sports headlines. The cast, as well as Ervin, discussed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s most recent decision to kneel during the national anthem instead of standing. While some of the sportscasters argued that Kaepernick’s decision was disrespectful and there were better ways to open a discussion, Ervin stated that he felt Kaepernick’s decision to take a stand and open a dialogue is valid and worth discussing.