Tried To Make Olympic Team Again
In April 1995, Sanders decided to return to swimming and began training for the 1996 Olympic Games. She had been accepted to the United States Swimming Resident National Team based in Colorado, and felt she needed to begin training again. She told the Omaha World-Herald, "I could just fall flat on my face. But I think either way you gain something from it. It'll be a lifelong lesson."
At first, training was hard for Sanders; she could not keep up with the other swimmers. She had her own lane so that she could swim against herself, and gradually build up to swimming with the group. Coach Jonty Skinner pushed her, and she qualified for the 1995 Pan Pacific Championships. Her goal remained the 1996 Olympics, but at the Olympic trials she did not make the team, although she competed in three events. Sanders's competition was younger and hungrier than she was, and her lack of training had hurt her. Sanders retired from swimming permanently.
At the 1996 Olympic Games, in Atlanta, Georgia, Sanders was a commentator for NBC. After she failed at the Olympic trials, she told Hank Lowenkron of Associated Press, "Obviously I'm disappointed because you don't like your last race to be eighth place, but I'm looking beyond that. I have a new appreciation for swimming.… It took this for me to really realize and look back and remember when I won that gold medal and how special it is."
- Summer Sanders - Awards And Accomplishments
- Summer Sanders - Loss Of Competitive Focus
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