What It’s Like to Nearly Drown in an Olympic Final

A video released by the Olympic Channel this month recounts the women’s 100 fly final from the 1960 Rome Olympics. In that race 14 year old U.S. Olympian Carolyn Wood caught water coming off the turn and started choking, forcing her to stop. The video contains an interview with Wood and several other participants in that races set over gorgeous archival footage of the 1960 Olympics. Parts of the video aren’t in English, but if you use the CC button, the subtitles contain a translation. The IOC requires you watch the video on YouTube, so follow the link to view it there.

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2 years ago

Video now blocked. Thanks, IOC!

2 years ago

You can see it on YouTube.

2 years ago

Great video (note–IOC only requires that you watch it on YouTube). Thank you! I’m kind of of that era & knew nothing about this. My whole (initial) career was goggles-free. It seems incomprehensible now.

Eddie Rowe
2 years ago

When I was 8, I was entered in the 200IM at our summer league championship meet. Most of the pools in the league were short course, but the champs were always long course, which meant even then 12-U crowd had to swim 200IM instead of 100IM. I was about halfway through fly when I inhaled water and had to be pulled out. I have no wave to blame, just bad technique/timing. Still bothers me because I was in the lead when I had to abandon the race.