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Friday, July 8, 2016

Seven goal and University...Louisville swimming press conference -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The first thing apparent at the University of Louisville swimming press conference yesterday was the striking difference between the six swimmers on hand to answer media questions. 

Joao De Lucca, he of Brazil and the most physically impressive of the six...looking like he could suit up for Bobby Petrino's Football Cards and smash a few unsuspecting running backs. Kelsi Worrell, the tallest of the Louisville women's swimmers, broad shoulders and a smile from ear to ear. You could easily picture her leaping to block one at the net for Anne Kordes. A bit hoarse but always charming. Carlos Claverie, tall, tanned and strikingly handsome...could pass as the leading man in a epic cinema detective story. Andrea Kneppers, fair-haired and almost a bit shy at first...tall and willowy and an intense stare. Not finding out until Tuesday that she would be representing the Netherlands. 

Tanja Kylliainen, "Mighty Mouse" the smallest of the group and seated next to Worrell...hanging intently on each of the group's words...choosing her own words with thought and care. Grigory Tarasevich, the Russian backstroke specialist, tall, lanky and looking maybe the least athletic of the group...boyish smile and a guy who you might expect to be bagging your groceries or delivering your paper instead of being ranked eighth in the world.

These are your UofL Swimming Olympians. Only Marcelo Acosta was absent. The Netherlands, Finland, Venezuela, Brazil, El Salvador, Russia and the USA...all represented, all sharing one thing...past performers in the red and black of Louisville swimming. Seven student-athletes, seven different backgrounds all sharing the same dream. Gold. 

They are not afraid of the potential crises in Rio. They are focused on their final training and their success. They will cheer for each other when they are in the water. None are pitted against each other in the events and have no idea how often they'll get to see each other in the Olympic Village. 

They have their mosquito netting and will soak their clothing in mosquito and bug repellent. Some of them spent January in Rio during qualifying and came back no worse for the wear. As Joao De Lucca so simply put it: 

"Look at me. It is my home country. Do I look sick?" 

We have the words of these six and head coach Arthur Albiero audio for you on the Saturday edition of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR tomorrow. We also went a little more in-depth with Tanja Kylliainen. Some teasers:

-- What's a girl from Baltimore doing swimming for Finland?

-- Who were her role models and inspiration at UofL? 

-- What will be her training process in the days before Rio?

-- How did she get the nickname "Mighty Mouse?"   

Make sure and catch THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR tomorrow at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM for the answers to this questions and the entire interviews.



1 comment:

  1. We're also going to have a special guest on the show tomorrow. Nicole Lowry, one of the Sports Medicine staff in UofL Athletics will be in studio wish us sharing her experiences as one of the unsung heroes of the sports teams that we cheer so much for.


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