Three-time Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett will swim in her first elite competition since coming out of retirement at the Orlando Grand Prix from February 14th-16th.
Bennett, who has found great success in her second career covering high school sports in Florida, will swim the 100 and 200 flys, plus the 400 and 800 freestyles. When Bennett first reentered the drug-testing pool last summer, it was to swim some Masters meets, a few local meets, and perhaps consider a full-fledged professional comeback.
She’s had some respectable results so far, including a 4:27.13 in the 400 long course free and a 9:04.39 in the 800 long course free at the Al Solis Memorial Meet. She’s also been a 1:05.66 in the 100 fly and a 2:20.97 in the 200 fly.
So far, Bennett is at least accomplishing her primary goal in getting back in the pool. “I’m having a blast swimming,” Bennett said of her progress.
She’s working with Randy Reese and the Clearwater Aquatic Team.
Bennett made her first Olympic team in 1996 when she was just 16-years old, and one Olympic gold in the 800 free in Atlanta. In 2000, she expanded that to a 400-800 free double gold medal performance. In 2001, though, she had surgery on both shoulders when she was only 21-years old; at her next go in 2004, she finished 3rd in the 800 free and missed the Olympic Team.
Her first comeback came in 2008, though that one wrapped up before the Olympic year. She’s already approaching the times that she swam then, though at only 31 years old she’s much younger than Janet Evans, who attempted a comeback at last summer’s Olympic trials at a decade older.