Rowdy Gaines ESPN Documentary ‘ROWDY’ Premieres June 3rd

ESPN TV journalist and director Hannah Storm is premiering her latest documentary, ROWDY, at the Greenwich International Film Festival June 3rd.

The film chronicles Rowdy Gaines‘ career journey, including his 1991 5-week hospitalization due to neurological paralytic disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and subsequent return to the sport.

Gaines is an Auburn alum, and set 10 world records between 1978 and 1984; he qualified for the boycotted 1980 Olympics before becoming a gold medalist at the 1984 Games. After his battle with Guillain-Barre, at the age of 35, he qualified for Olympic Trials in 1996, but opted to retire and pursue his career in broadcasting. He is now a masters world record holder in multiple events.

Gaines took to Twitter to show his support for the endevour:

You can purchase tickets to the premiere here.

The festival is a non-profit organization that hosts the main event yearly, with supporting events throughout the year. Its purpose is to “bridge the worlds of film, finance, and philanthropy,” and to  “provide filmmakers with the opportunity to showcase their work with the goal of finding financing for future projects.”

While we don’t know much else about the film, Storm, who notably is married to Gaines’ Olympic commentating partner Dan Hicks, last year released Danica, an hour-long documentary about race car driver Danica Patrick. That film focused on Patrick’s life outside of NASCAR.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

I would like to preface this with the fact that Rowdy was a very impressive swimmer in his time –

But there has never been a worse commentor than him in the history of our sport, maybe quite possibly any sport. He’s bland, boring, and will only speak about the Auburn swimmer currently getting last in lane 8.

Jude Gaines
Reply to  Nuts
4 years ago

Your screen name is revealing!

4 years ago


Sam Grant
4 years ago

There is a story to be told about Coach Richard Quick, who passed away from brain cancer in 2009, and his role in coaching Rowdy for the 1984 Olympics. Coach Quick went on to coach many Olympians, but Rowdy was his first and I dare say, his favorite.

Jude Gaines
4 years ago

Rowdy and I have been married for 29 years! I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind that he has helped to change the sport of swimming during his entire career for the better! Consistency, dedication and hard work is the reason behind his continued success and relavence to the sport of swimming. Rowdy has consitantly been involved in the sport in some capacity since retiring from elite level competition whether it be coaching, broadcasting, charitable work, fundraising, teaching, mentoring young swimmers and continued competition in Masters swimming to name a few. For those who watch the swimming broadcasts, you need to understand that the the commentary is targeted towards those who know nothing about swimming. The technical… Read more »

Josh Davis
4 years ago

Can’t wait to see it! Rowdy is one of the reasons I started swimming after watching him in 1984. One of the greatest swimming ambassadors in history and great husband, dad and friend. Well deserved!

Dan Smith
4 years ago

Had the pleasure of meeting Rowdy informally at ’16 OTrials. Every great ambassador for their sport has their quirks, and those should be celebrated along with his vocal enthusiasm for promoting the sport he loves. A true great in the pool and behind the microphone and in front of the camera. Should be honored as he is a voice for swimming that convinces people to try it. Still makes the hair on my neck stand up when watching the Men’s Olympics 4×100 free relay victory with Lezak’s amazing anchor!

Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

Met Rowdy at the 1998 NCAA Champtionships which were held at Auburn that year (and won by Stanford). A very gracious man. As many others have mentioned, Rowdy was one of those royally screwed by the 1980 US Olympic boycott (Coach George Haines told me that it was the worst act of the Carter administration). I believe Rowdy held the WR in the 200 free in 1980.

That being said, I wish Rowdy would retire from the broadcasting booth. As they say, “Every right idea eventually becomes the wrong one.” Time to let some younger and more motivated talent in the door!

Reply to  Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

I vote for “livestream Andy”. That guy is a soon to be legend.

The Pool Boy
Reply to  Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

Rowdy’s greatest asset to the sport is his passion for the moment. Not many voices of swimming have the knowledge, passion and ability to translate to the mainstream audience like Rowdy does. But I agree that letting the next generation in occasionally will help bridge the gap when these guys retire. I like the Georgia guy. He is definitely a homer for the Bulldogs, but his knowledge of the other swimmers who come to Athens makes it enjoyable for all fans in attendance. People like that bring us into the competition that much more.

4 years ago

Met Rowdy at a 3 day Masters Performance camp last year. His passion for swimming is unmatched. He was so humble around all the Olympians at the camp, you would never know he was one of the best. I saw him take time with every attendee and gave feedback on our strokes and technique. I really enjoyed getting to know him a bit. Congrats Rowdy…Well deserved!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »