Practice + Pancakes: Behind the Scenes of the TYR Derby Pro Swim

SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.

The TYR Derby Pro Swim isn’t just a swim meet – it’s a swimming experience. The swim meet itself takes place on a Friday night, and is solely a 50 free shoot out, with 3 rounds of competition. 8 women and 8 men, 16 of the fastest athletes in the world, gather in Louisville, Kentucky for this chance to call themselves the king of queen of the pool and take home a little prize money while they’re at it. After each round, 2 swimmers are eliminated, so you have a 4-person finale to end the competition. This year, the athletes on the women’s side included:

On the men’s side, they were:

This was only the beginning of the weekend, however. After a group dinner on Friday night, We started things bright and early on Saturday, first venturing to the Churchill Downs racing track for a backside tour of the world famous facility. At the downs, our thoroughbred athletes got to get a first hand look at a day in the life of thoroughbred racing horses. Next on the list was a tour and tasting at the Old Forester Bourbon Distillery, one of the crown jules of Louisville. To cap off the day, the athletes dressed to the nines and headed back to the racetrack, where it was opening night at the track, exactly one week before the famed Kentucky Derby took place behind the very same doors.

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About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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