SWIMNEWS ONLINE: February 1997 Magazine Articles

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Karin Helmstaedt

The lone American at the 1997 World Cup series was Travis Myers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Myers, who turns 25 this month and is nearing retirement, decided to skip the U.S. Nationals in February in favour of the World Cup competitions. "I figured a global tour with six or seven meets was better than one meet in the U.S. I've always been a better short course swimmer," said Myers.

He actually took out a loan to finance the tour himself, and attended every meet from Beijing through to the finale in Paris, a total of seven meets in all.

But organizing the tour on his own was not easy, and Myers tells amusing tales of waking up at 3 a.m. to fax the Beijing swimming office, or of calling U.S. Swimming collect when he was lost between airports. "They told me never to do that again!" he laughs.

While Myers liked the idea of the travel, there was also the possibility of winning some money. "That's another reason I decided to give it a shot," he added.

But Myers took a while to warm up on the the tour. Competing in the 50, 100, and 200 breaststrokes, he had his best results in Sweden, tying for first in the 200 (2:14.98) and placing second in the 50 (28.43).

There were ups and downs: the banding together with other "loners" like himself, luggage lost on the way to Glasgow, and the expense of the hotel in Germany that took some wind out of his sails. But Myers came out of the whole experience smiling. "Americans don't even know this exists," he said. "This is great. I love this. I'd do it again."

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