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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Individual training, travels make Chandler adjust

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Swim meet between the Arizona Wildcats, UNLV Running Rebels, and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Swim meet between the Arizona Wildcats, UNLV Running Rebels, and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

Former Arizona swimmer Annie Chandler, the Pacific 10 Conference Woman of the Year for 2010-11, participated in the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, last week and earned a gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke. The Daily Wildcat caught up with Chandler to discuss her post-graduation travels and her future.

Daily Wildcat: Congrats on winning the Gold Medal.

Annie Chandler: Thanks. Yeah, pretty much all I could get through was that one-lapper.

DW: What was your training like in preparation for the World University Games?

AC: Well, it’s been kind of an interesting summer. You usually go through a training cycle in the preseason where you work real hard and eventually get to anaerobic training and then rest before a big meet, so you’re basically not doing anything too strenuous for three or four weeks before a big meet. I did that for a meet in Paris in June and then kind of continued resting for nationals in the beginning of August. By the time I got to China I was kind of maxed out. I felt fine for the 50 (meter breaststroke), but I was dying pretty hard at the end of my races. It was an experimental summer, to see how long I can rest, and now I know. I can probably rest for like six weeks.

DW: As an Olympic swimmer, have you had to travel outside of the United States a lot?

AC: I haven’t really traveled much before this year, but I did a lot of traveling this summer. When I graduated, a lot of coaches told me that’s what I need, some international experience.

DW: How is it different competing internationally as opposed to what you are originally accustomed to?

AC: It is a different playing field against foreigners. It puts you a little more on edge, because I am somebody who likes the familiarity of American swimmers. Kind of a setting I’m comfortable in, and when you’re taken out of that it gives you a whole new experience to deal with since there’s a language barrier, and you can’t really take your mind off your nerves in the ready room before the race because not everybody speaks English.

DW: What other countries have you been to (besides China)?

AC: I’ve been to Japan and France.

DW: Do you ever really have time to explore these countries when you are traveling?

AC: It’s pretty much all business, which is the biggest bummer because you get so excited to go to all of these places. When I was in Japan, I was an hour and a half outside of Tokyo and never got to see it, which is a shame. If I was smarter I would have stayed a few days after. That’s not something I really wanted to do in China; I was ready to go home as I was there for a pretty long time. I was there long enough to get sick of the village and dining hall and living off of PB and J (laughs).

DW: What have you been up to since graduation, other than swimming?

AC: I had an internship at the Tucson Museum of Art in the spring, since that’s the most inactive time in the swimming year, then this summer I was busy making these trips and didn’t do much other than swimming.

DW: You majored in journalism in college; what are your plans for your future in terms of journalism?

AC: I would like to write, but right now, I’m kind of all talk. In Paris, I blogged for Swimming World Magazine. Eventually I would like to write, all the advice I’ve gotten is to make sure I’m not just swimming. Right now, hopefully in the fall, I will find something to help my resume.

DW: Do you ever miss college life and college swimming?

AC: Yes and no. There are certain aspects of college swimming that I miss. Now I’m kind of on the outside looking in since I still train with the team, but it’s different vibes, I guess. I’m no longer accountable to the team, which is good because there are certain things I know are good for me that I have learned over the years, and I have more freedom to make my own decisions when it comes to my training, which is freeing in a way. I do kind of miss the accountability sometimes because some days that’s what gets you to practice.

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