Swimming: Gold medalist brings camp to Hill

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By Mike Cote

After a remarkable swimming career, Tom Jager thought it was time to switch gears a little bit.

Jager, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, has gotten into coaching at the collegiate level and runs his Gold Medal Swimming Camp to teach others what he has learned over the course of international competition.

The Gold Medal Swimming Camp was held this year at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

“For me, I enjoy it because I’m able to give back,” Jager said. “Your whole swimming career you’re selfish. You’re taking care of yourself, and that’s kind of the name of the game. You have to be that way…After 31 years of being selfish, I guess I’ve felt really guilty about it.”

The camp, which this year included 23 kids from all over the country and two from as far away as Venezuela, were tested physically and mentally at Jager’s camp. Along with grueling two-hour swim sessions each day, Jager took them around Bandelier National Monument for hikes and rafting the Rio Grande near Pilar.

Jager, who won gold for the United States in the 400-meter freestyle relay at Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, grew up near Tijeras and trained for several years during his Olympic career at the University of New Mexico.

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