ebook excerpt: ‘Godspeed’ by way of Olympic swimmer Casey Legler
Aug 20, 2018
Jean-Yves RuszniewskiTempSportCorbisVCG pictures
Casey Legler preparing to compete at the Atlanta video games.
Olympic swimmer Casey Legler, who competed in the 1996 summer season Olympics for France, discusses breaking the realm record in qualifying heats then coming in 29th within the girls’s 50-meter freestyle in her memoir, “Godspeed.” The below is excerpted from Legler’s ebook:
I qualify for the Olympics that spring and on the training go back and forth with the French group that summer season, I smoke cigarettes on my own outside our dorm home windows at evening and listen to the mangroves moan, the leisure of the country wide crew asleep. I inhale after which slip off the compound the place we landed, three weeks earlier than Atlanta, and stroll the amiable night beneath the streetlights in Jacksonville to the neon 7-Eleven down the road, into the air-conditioned insides of perfectly organized electric aisles: yellow packs of M&M’s, orange Reese’s, potato chips — so plenty f—ing junk. I grab a forty, pull out moist and crumpled change from my jeans for it, they don’t ask for id, and then sit down on the concrete sidewalk facet just outdoor with the glow white 7-Eleven as my shadow and drink. The weather is a companionate blanket on my face and i look all the way down to the asphalt universe of pebbles and boulders at my ft, microscopic now considering the fact that daily. I promised my faculty roommate, Bella, that if I qualified for the Olympics i’d shave my head. I can’t be stricken to care anymore — i’m gruesome already — and vaguely ask yourself why the f— do the guys get to do it and that i don’t, so I do — and tomorrow the handiest two guys on the group I confer with shave it easy.
In Atlanta, my bald head walking onto the pool deck for follow, every person aspects their cameras on the loud vacuum noise in my head. They have no idea that i am deaf to everything but to the tinsel light that bangs skies into my eyes, and my Olympic parka is fellow and heavy like a quilt over my placenta, and once I slide it off my dermis the cameras go click and my toes aspect the pool deck for apply, I dive in the water mercury lava on my physique, clean and floating.
I ruin the area checklist split at neighborly-u.s.a.and everyone on deck stops what they’re doing and looks over at teach; he smiles and is convinced for bragging. I bow my head underwater, like echo silence folded right here in the amniotic fluid, and wait below there, suspended in mid-flight between the floor and the backside of the pool. I go with the flow and search for to the sky via this distance — it tinfoil flickers like church. I maintain falling into the smartly except my spine lands, a muffled thud in opposition t the cool tiles on the bottom, and from there I blow bubble after ultimate bubble, rings floating up to the appropriate while I reside down, and everything is blurry like it would be and quiet there like it would be.
I come up lifeless-like and my head surfaces during the glass to the rah and chatter: good, first rate, this is brilliant, Casey, you should do this the following day. i know already that I won’t. I wish I cared. My body falls out of itself and leaves its dermis crumpled up on the deck tiles. I walk lower back to the locker room devoid of it, leaving it there. My mind swirls and makes a sound.
Excerpted from GODSPEED: a memoir. 2018 via Casey Legler. Reprinted with permission of Atria BooksSimon & Schuster. .