Critically Acclaimed Book “The Watermen” Details U.S. Swimming’s 1st Gold Medal

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Author Michael Loynd has found narrative gold in his book, The Watermen: The Birth of American Swimming and One Young Man’s Fight to Capture Olympic Gold.

The narrative centers around Charles Daniels, USA Swimming’s first gold medal winner at the Olympic Games. Charlies is a complicated athlete with a dysfunction upbringing. Once you dive into his journey you won’t be able to put the book down. The historical context of the 1904 and 1908 Olympics and what swimming did for our nation will surprise you.

Read an excerpt of The Watermen here.

You can get the book here.

I loved talking with the author, Michael. My hope is that we will have him back on the podcast when his book is adapted to the silver screen.


Music: Otis McDonald

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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6 months ago

After spotting this on my amazon suggestions list in mid June, I purchased it immediately. Finally got around to start reading it this past Friday, and about 3/4 of the way through, and I can’t offer enough praise and kudos to the author. Clearly a lot of research went into this easy read book. As someone who enjoys history, trivia (especially Olympics related) and swimming, I am getting all 3 in one with this book!

His writing style is what puts it over the top for me, as its an easy read for someone like myself, with some mild ADD and reading comprehension challenges. It’s rare for me to find a book a have trouble struggling to put down for… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by PRK
Susanna Porter
6 months ago

Loved this book! This is a fabulous read, even if you’re not a big swimmer, but especially if you are!

Steve Nolan
6 months ago

I almost didn’t listen to this one – who cares, that happened a long time ago! – but man, woulda missed out. Prolly gonna grab the book now lol.

6 months ago

This is a fabulous, deeply engaging book. All swim fans and swimmers should read this. I couldn’t put it down. There are so many firsts in this story and the creation/ evolution of freestyle is fascinating reading. All sprinters should hail Mr Daniels as he invented the 6 beat kick! Read this. Now.

cynthia curran
6 months ago

No one commented I heard of this fellow before. So, he is a natural since people didn’t work out much in those days. In fact the east coast and the Midwest makes since to where pools were since most of the population was there at the time.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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