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posted January 28, 2009 @ 1:01 AM  |  Elite Level Competition | Fun Facts category

Tom Dolan was 11 when he broke his arm and his mother told him he had to avoid swimming. He was a teenager when doctors diagnosed him with asthma, then a narrow windpipe, and explained that these things gave him a poor capacity for oxygen intake, and an even poorer chance at swimming success. Dolan only swam harder, vanquishing the exhaustion, and the dizziness, and the occasional blackouts.

Tom Dolan was also America's first 1996 Olympic gold medalist, when he edged training partner and fellow American Eric Namesnik to win the 400-meter individual medley in a time of 4 minutes 14.90 seconds.

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