Get your weekly news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from athletes around the world in their non-aquatic habitats, helping us get to know them for more than just an event ranking or time on a board. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 – Stranger Things Almost Repped Swimming
With Season 2 of the hit Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’ now binge-watched by most of the world, stars are revealing insider info regarding the addicting sci-fi show. Joe Keery for instance, the actor who plays character Steve Harrington on the show, spoke with Late Night talk show host Seth Meyers yesterday. In their conversation, Keery explained that his character was initially going to be not only a high school athlete, but a swimmer.
Keery told Meyers, “At the beginning of the first season, I got the part and talked to the Duffer brothers [show creators], and they were saying, ‘He’s going to be kinda like this jock character and he’s, like, a swimmer.’”
Apparently, the Duffer brothers were set on labeling Steve as the ‘Michael Phelps of Hawkins High’, complete with the actor attending some swim training sessions to prepare. “So for the first, I don’t know, six weeks prior to shooting, I was training, doing all this swimming prep,” Keery explained.
Alas, for unknown reasons, the swimming back story got the ax, which is probably better for Steve’s hair anyway.
#2 – American Olympian Kelsi Worrell Marries Thomas Dahlia
American record holder and 2016 Olympian Kelsi Worrell tied the knot with her former University of Louisville teammate and French swimmer Thomas Dahlia last month The pair have been together throughout college, but made it official on October 27th. The fly girl even used a diamond ring raft to help her count down the days until the special event.
#3 – Kirsty Coventry Receives Honorary Doctorate
Former world record holder and multiple Olympian for Zimbabwe, Kirsty Coventry, received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Sports Science from Bindura University (BUSE) last month. BUSE Vice Chancellor, Professor Eddit Mwerje, stated at the ceremony, “Bindura University of Science Education, the host of the Zimbabwe Sports Academy, has seen it fit and worthwhile to award honorary doctorate to a hard-working servant, illustrious, dedicated, patriotic and disciplined athlete.”
Throughout her historic career as overwhelmingly Zimbabwe’s most-decorated athlete, Coventry collected 7 Olympic medals, including back-t0-back 200m backstroke gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Games. She also was a mainstay on the World Championships scene, competing at every edition from 2000 through 2016. In Rio, Coventry acted as flag bearer and went on to place 11th in the 100m backstroke and 6th in the 200m backstroke.
#4 – Former Collegiate Diver Donates Game Show Winnings To Program
Former Ball State diver Zach Whitaker appeared on the daytime game show The Price is Right over the summer, winning several prizes including $25,000 and a new car. Whitaker decided to give some of his winnings back to the diving program he says ‘helped shape his adult life.’
“It was pretty quick for me,” Whitaker, who attended the Muncie, Indiana-based University from 2003 to 2007 said. “[Giving back to the program] was an easy decision, and something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but have never been in a financial position to do that and so this coming along was just perfect.”
Whitaker’s gift back to the program was $1,000, along with a much-needed mini-refrigerator and cases of Gatorade.