It’s about learning fundamentals and a healthy lifestyle
Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming 2004
I recall my older sister once telling me that her best friend’s daughter was a really good swimmer. Of course, as an Olympian in any sport, we hear people tell us that all the time. This time, however, it turned out to be true.
Kaitlin Sandeno was the name of this young 12-year-old Californian who was just starting to show her athletic talent. Just four years later, she qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games of Sydney.
“Wasn’t that the girl you told me about?” I asked my sister.
“ I tried to tell you she was good,” she responded.
‘Good’ was a little underestimation. By the time Kaitlin completed her swimming career, competing in two Olympic Games, Sydney and Athens, she had collected a gold, a silver and two bronze medals. She was a superstar at the University of Southern California. She had become one of the greatest individual medley and freestyle swimmers of all time. Her passion for swimming and for fitness continues today.
Kaitlin and her sister Kamlin have started a swim team in Orange County with a different approach. Their goal is not to see how many more Olympic stars they can produce, but rather to see how many young children they can get fit. The idea is to get and keep kids active in the sport they love, swimming.
“This program will be more of a get fit, stay active, and get them ready for other swim teams kind of thing,” Sandeno says. “We need kids to take a break from video games and TV and do something to get healthier. This is something that will be very good for them. And introducing them to swimming, or furthering their interest and ability in it, is something they can use long into the future.”
Kaitlin and Kamlin’s program will focus on technique, having fun and allowing children time to participate in other sports.
“This program is about learning fundamentals and a healthy lifestyle,” says Kaitlin. “They will feel better about themselves, and their bodies will literally feel better and be healthier. We want them to have fun, and get healthy. The statistics on childhood obesity are just so disheartening.”
Congratulations to Kaitlin and Kamlin for their new approach to teaching swimming. I think they might be on to something very special. We are proud to feature Kaitlin as our World Fit Olympian of the month.
Gary Hall, M.D.