June 14, 2012
TCU swimming is no stranger to the Olympics. Through the years, multiple TCU swimmers have advanced to the games and the TCU coaching staff has its fingerprints on the Olympics as well.
In 2012, as the Olympic Games head to London, TCU swimming will once again be represented. Edgar Crespo, the TCU record holder in the 100-breaststroke and 200-breaststroke, is set to represent his home country of Panama for the second time.
Crespo went to Beijing in 2008, site of Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals, and suited up in his first Olympics. That year, the Panama City native turned in the top time in his second heat of the 100-breast (1:03.72).
This time, when Crespo heads to the United Kingdom, a familiar face will be helping him through his training. TCU assistant coach Bill Koppelman, who has accompanied Crespo to numerous major events over the past three years, is traveling to London as the Panamanian coach.
Crespo had planned to compete in the 100-breaststroke once again, but at the Indianapolis Grand Prix this year, he added an Olympic qualifying time in the 200-breast. With that, Crespo added more to his plate for his second Olympics.
While the situation of Crespo and Koppelman traveling to London may seem unique, it is not the first time TCU has been involved in the scenario. In 1996, when the Centennial games came to Atlanta, TCU head coach Richard Sybesma served as the Nicaraguan coach for former Frog Walter Soza.
The standard for TCU swimming at the Olympic games remains Beijing, though, when Crespo and Lili Guiscardo both competed. Guiscardo, another former TCU swimmer, represented her home country of Argentina in the 100-breaststroke.
However, if current TCU swimmers Sebastian Arispe (Peru) and Gabi Korac (Croatia) have anyting to say about it, 2012 will become the new benchmark for the Frogs at the Olympic games. Both are attempting to qualify for their respective countries.
TCU also is sending at least two swimmers to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
The Olympics and TCU swimming have a history of being intertwined. For further proof, look no further than Sybesma carrying the Olympic torch through campus in 2001 as it was on its way to Salt Lake City for the winter games.