Andrew Gemmell is a chameleon. He switches gears when he needs to. He changes speeds with a purpose. He changes discipline depending on the opportunity.

The best crossover swimmer in the United States, the former silver medalist in the 10K at the 2009 world championships and a gold medalist in the 5K Team Pursuit at the 2011 world championships, Gemmell initially made his name on the international scene in the open water world.

But he turned his focus to the pool when he narrowly missed the opportunity in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

And where there is a will, there is a way.

The University of Georgia student made the USA Olympic Swim Team in the 1500m freestyle on the last night of the USA Olympic Trials with a typical come-from-behind victory that resulted in a best time of 14:52.

Gemmell‘s rivals, both in the pool and open water, know that he has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality in his racing. Starting in the pack, Gemmell gradually picks up speed in the race, building in the second half and closing to a crescendo. He has done it time and time again in the open water and he did it in the pool when it counted most. “I just wanted to treat it like open water, and I knew I had to swim my own race. I knew people would be going out faster than me, and I would have to race coming home. I didn’t really want to have much left for the end. I just wanted to let my adrenaline take me from there. I figured that would carry me through the last 100.”

The 21-year-old gentleman from Delaware, widely recognized for his work ethic, can now pack his bags to London. He may not be taking lanolin or swimming with numbers on his shoulders, but he will be taking his goggles and swimming fast in London nevertheless.

Andrew Gemmell, 2012 Olympian.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


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