Three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines was in Greensboro this weekend to provide live commentary for the ESPN broadcast of the ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship. Rowdy was kind enough to give SwimSwam a few minutes of his time after the conclusion of Saturday’s session.
In the interview, which you can view above, we ask Rowdy, who swam for Auburn, for his thoughts on whether or not the ACC is catching up to the SEC in swimming prowess.
All three of Rowdy’s gold medals in 1984 came while swimming the 100 free. He won the individual event and anchored the USA 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays. Naturally, after a meet in which we saw two NC State swimmers, Simonas Bilis and Ryan Held, both go under 19.0 in the 50 free and under 42.0 in the 100 free, we also wanted to hear what goes through Rowdy’s head when he sees the times a number of young sprinters are going today.
Finally, Rowdy weighs in on the debate as to how much impact NCAA swimming, especially competing in the short course yards format, has on American long course success.