‘Y’ swimmers meet Olympian

ESCANABA – Five swimmers from the Northern Lights YMCA’s Dickinson County program joined 24 from Delta County for a swim clinic with medal-winning Olympian Peter Vanderkaay.

Vanderkaay made his Olympic debut in 2004, coming home with a gold after the 800 free relay broke the American record.

At the 2008 Olympics, Vanderkaay earned a gold medal as the 800 free relay broke the world record. He also copped his first individual medal at the Olympics, a bronze in the 200 free.

Vanderkaay added another bronze in 400 free at London’s 2012 Olympics.

Before jumping in the water, Vanderkaay told the swimmers things he learned to become an Olympian like setting goals, challenging yourself, time management and commitment.

He got everyone’s attention when he said, “There are no magic drills. You just work on technique.”

Vanderkaay then jumped in the water and demonstrated some drills like “Tractor pull,” “Thumb Slide,” “Catch Up” and “6 kick +3 stroke glide.” He also played the game of golf in the pool, counting the number of strokes it takes to move through 25 yards and then trying to take fewer strokes.

Vanderkaay also covered backstroke, breaststroke, fly, starts and flip turn.

He also made time to sign autographs and take pictures with his four Olympic Medals.

Vanderkaay will be at Teal Lake on Saturday, July 27, for the diabetes fundraiser. He said he would swim the lake with those gathered.