Longhorns Olympic Trials Q&A: Dave Walters
June 4, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Dave Walters, a four-year member of Texas Men's Swimming and Diving from 2006-2010, is currently on the journey to his second summer Olympics, starting with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials from June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb.
The 2010 University of Texas graduate's international accomplishments include winning an Olympic gold medal in 2008 in Beijing as a member of the United States 800-meter freestyle relay team. He is a three-time gold medalist at the FINA World Championships, including two world record-setting performances in the 400 medley relay and 800 free relay at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome. Walters also set the current American record in the 100 free at the same meet. As a Longhorn, he was a two-time NCAA Champion and a 12-time All-American.
Walters took time off from training to chat with TexasSports.com about his experience as a Longhorn and how it prepared him to represent his country as an Olympian.
Which events are you training for? As of five weeks ago I broke my wrist. I'm almost at about 100 percent recovery, but that's really affected what I'm thinking about for Trials. I almost have a better shot at going in the 200 free than the 100 free, but my better event is the 100 free, so I'm debating on how to do my events, whether I should just not do the 200 and just the 100 because I've kind of missed out on a little bit of training.
Have you been training with any fellow Texas Exes? I'm training in Southern California with Ricky Berens. Actually it's fairly similar to how things went during our years at Texas. He's one of my favorite training partners. We really push each other hard. That's one of the reasons I went to Texas, because Ricky was going there.
How is this lead-up to the Olympic Trials different than the last for you? I'm a little bit older. I think I feel a lot more confident in this Olympic Trials than the previous one. Out here, it feels exciting when I race. (Trials) is a different type of meet with a different type of feel for it, so it definitely helps to have a little experience.
How did your time at Texas prepare you to train for the Olympics? What Texas did for me was that I just cared about the team so much. I wanted the team to be successful because the tradition and the camaraderie of being on that team is so cool and I just wanted to do so well for the team. In response, I was able to get some fast times and have some great races.
How does Texas' rich tradition at the Olympics motivate you? It definitely motivates you because you see a lot of people getting it done and taking it to that level, but also it kind of gives you a lot of confidence more so, because you just feel like you're in the right place where a lot of success it. We all come from the same coach, so it just gives you a ton of confidence that you're doing the right thing and that you're doing everything you can do to make it to that level.
What has the Olympics given to you besides a medal? I think for me, it was exciting to do something for my country. You definitely get a lot of pride and you feel like you're being a good ambassador for your country. And that just gives you a feeling that is hard to describe. You just feel so lucky to be in that spot.