VIDEO: How former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka revolutionized truck driving fitness

FOX Sports Live put together the video above, an interesting look at how one former Yale swimmer overcame adversity in his athletic career, only to change the game entirely for the profession of truck driving.

Siphiwe Baleka (who swam in the 1990s under the name Tony Blake) has a winding story, full of ups, downs and unexpected turns. You can only get the true extent of the story from the 7-minute video, but Baleka was a standout Yale Bulldog who narrowly missed becoming the first African-American to make the U.S. Olympic swim team in 1992. Missing the cut by less than a second, Baleka traveled the world, changed his name, then returned to the United States to change the world of truck driving with a new fitness program designed specifically for the unique lifestyle of professional truck drivers.

Baleka is now back in the water, competing as a Masters swimmer since 2011. The full video is above, courtesy of FOX Sports Live on YouTube.

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6 years ago

That was awesome.

ACC D1 Swimmer
6 years ago

Now THAT was an amazing story.

jiggs
6 years ago

Yes! Great story.
It would be interesting to know what event(s) he swam. I´m having a hard time finding him in the ´92 trials results. Probably a distance guy, no?
One thing for sure is that Mel Stewart Ledecky´d the 200 Fly!

Reply to  jiggs
6 years ago

He missed trials by .8 according to the video. He was a 100 freestyler.

jiggs
Reply to  Hulk Swim
6 years ago

Yeah, that´s what you would think, 100 free. Josh Davis missed by that amount for example. I just don´t see any Tony Blake or Anthony Blake or anybody from Yale on the list.
The truck driving part made me think he likes the distance.

jiggs
6 years ago

My bad. I should´ve re-watched the video. He said it was 100 Free.
Very inspirational.

Blakefan
6 years ago

Siphiwe is a great swimmer. Small in stature but huge in both confidence and heart. He trained with the likes of Bob Utley, Ricardo Busquets, Yann Defabrique, and Martin Zubero in the summer of ’91 at Pine Crest. Known for an explosive standard start, he swam a mean 50 and 100 free, a good 100 breast, and a respectable 100 fly and 200 IM. A true scholar and well read man, Tony knew volumes of swimming stats and even more about philosophy and the history of conciousness. He was confident yet congenial, positive, and approachable. Was sad to hear he took missing trials in ’92 so hard, yet happy to learn he found a new purpose. A guy like Tony… Read more »

Onaje Jackson
6 years ago

Hello Siphiwe,

Very proud of your life story to date. Taking a very noteworthy, stand-out swimming career – including your groundbreaking Yale career as a varsity STAR (I followed your career via the Yale swim alumni newsletter) – being among the 1st African American Yale varsity swimmers – and certainly the 1st as Olympic material — then turning an extraordinary disappointment and intense life search into major contribution to an American “life-blood” industry … amounts to a big, triumphant story so far. Keep up the fine work! I am Onaje Jackson, Yale “77, BR and – based on all known history – the second African American Yale Varsity swimmer in team history (a Yale Chemistry prof., Irv Winters, was the… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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