Gold Medal Mel Interview: “Swimming Isn’t Fair” (VIDEO)

In an interview with Gold Medal Mel Stewart, co-founder of SwimSwam and Olympic gold medalist, the team from “The Water Is My Sky” documentary asked a heavy question.

“Is swimming fair?”

Gold Medal Mel responded with an anecdote from his days in swimming. Watch the short clip above to listen in on his thoughts about the fairness (or unfairness) of the sport of swimming.

Mel Stewart won the gold medal in the 200 butterfly competing for the United States at the 1992 Olympic Games. There, he also won gold in the 400 medley relay as a prelims swimmer and collected a bronze as a part of the 800 free relay. He swam the fastest split in the final out of the four American legs of the 800 relay.

“The Water Is My Sky” is a documentary about the sacrifices and journeys of elite swimmers, and offers a perspective on the athletic careers of Tom Wilkens and Connor Jaeger, two swimmers who went from average swimmers in high school to Olympians in a short span of time. You can check out the documentary’s website right here.

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4 years ago

Wow Mel , u truly totally feel what u are saying . Bravo , u have the bravery and the sheer honesty of your experiences . Still swimming offers great opportunities to grow and evolve as a human Being .

4 years ago

thx….I forgot about this interview. It was at the end of the “Water Is My Sky” topics and the director/producer tossed it out. Caught me by surprise….. It’s a good topic. We all know swimmers who trained their butts off and had great success, but didn’t make it to the Olympics or NCAAs or Jr Nats or State Meet. They had a lot heart and swam to the best of their ability…

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
4 years ago

I agree with u on that aspect for sure .

4 years ago

Swimming has no ability to be fair or unfair.

Stay Human
4 years ago

That takes a lot of humility to admit the hardest workers don’t always win, Mel. You said you weren’t sure why you got emotional about it. Maybe you just feel bad for your friend and other hard workers, but maybe it’s also because swimming is a microcosm of life in general– not always fair. That’s a hard lesson for all of us to swallow. But it’s yet another valuable life lesson learned from swimming. The younger we learn it, the better off we’ll be later.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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