Olympic Journal: Our Big Ten Swimmers Land In France

The latest of our Big Ten Olympic Journals is in and this time it’s U.S. swimmer and Michigan product Davis Tarwater firing back at his teammate Peter Vanderkaay’s last post. We have four Big Ten swimmers teaming up to send back journal entries as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

Want to bookmark the swimmer’s journals? We’ll be archiving them here. And now, here’s what Tarwater sent in Sunday.

Tarwater is very excited about getting comfortable on the flight.
Photo courtesy of Peter Vanderkaay

“This is Davis Tarwater, University of Michigan graduate (2002-2006),
 blogging from the runway of the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. First
 off, I have to clear the air about a reference to my sartorial and
 musical choices as alluded to by our previous blog-spert (i.e. blog expert)
 Peter Vanderkaay.

“He insinuated that I not only dress like Toby Keith
 but also celebrate his entire collection. This is only partially true,
 and I do enjoy a form-fitting cut-off T-shirt as much as the next guy.

“However, Peter and I have not had very many meaningful conversations
 thus far about much of anything due to the fact that he has dominated
 nearly all of our interactions with chatter about the upcoming Katy
 Perry movie. The guy is electric about it. We are trying to get him 
refocused for his race.

“Now let’s get back to business. After a great training camp in my hometown of
 Knoxville, TN, Team USA hit the road en route to our second training
 stop in Vichy, France. It was really great to have training camp in my 
hometown. And while I lived in Ann Arbor for six years, I truly consider
 Knoxville to be home.

Vanderkaay gets a hot shave in Knoxville.
Photo courtesy of Peter Vanderkaay

“The outpouring of support for the team was
 second to none. So a big thank you to the Knoxville community is in
 order not only from me, but also on behalf of the entire team. Our
 highlight in Knoxville was probably getting about nine guys into Frank’s 
Barbershop for haircuts and hot shaves (see the pictures in this post).

“At the current time, we have boarded a charter flight in Geneva after
 flying from Washington DC, and that will take us to our next stop. Over
 the next few days we will adjust to European time while recovering
 from the travel. Additionally, our objective as a team will be to
 sharpen up and rest again from a hard build up of training
 post-Olympic Trials. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can get
 some good-looking tans to show off in London. It will also be a 
good opportunity to perfect my French language skills, which at the
 moment consist of being able to offer a pleasant “Hello.” I also know how to order an orange juice. And that’s about it.

“As a side note, writing this blog has suddenly proven far more
 difficult now that former Northwestern star/giant human/backstroke
 specialist and fellow blogger Matt Grevers has decided to recline his
 seat in front of me. I’ll allow him space to defend himself, as he will be featured in
 an upcoming report.

Not to be outdone, Tarwater gets a hot shave, too.
Photo courtesy of Peter Vanderkaay

“Also, I have to give a proper acknowledgement to the man I dub “The
 Future.” He’s Connor Jaeger, another Michigan man. In afeat almost as hard as winning the lottery, this guy made the Olympic team in the 1500 meters,
 an event he has done a grand total of four times in his entire life. That’s
 absolutely unbelievable. That’s why he’s “The Future.” A big name to
 live up to, but he’s a big man.

“Well, we are descending now into Vichy. It was not a long ride but it
 is pretty great to travel on charter flights. I could certainly get
 used to this. I might put in a suggestion to the Michigan athletic
 department to charter flights for the swim team.

“Kidding. But if they
 wanted to, I’m sure the guys would be pleased.

The next entry will be a report from training camp from another one of our Big Ten Olympic Blog team members (say that 10 times fast).

Travel to France has
 been a success. Over and out,

 Davis.”

Editor’s note: Here’s how full squad of Big Ten Olympic Swimming bloggers. And don’t forget that you can post your best wishes to any of our Big Ten names via this Big Ten Olympic Best Wishes page.

Tarwater is a multiple Big Ten and NCAA champion competing in the 4×200 Free Relay. He and others chronicle their Olympic journey here for BTN.com. Read all of our Olympic journals. Davis Tarwater Peter Vanderkaay Matt Grevers Connor Jaeger

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2 Comments

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Joyce Olson on 7/16/2012 @ 10:18am EST Said:

Davis: Of course you have to have a liking for Toby Keith. That is part of your DNA coming from Knoxville. I am so pleased that the people of Knoxville were good hosts. I am a Tennessee lady who was transplanted to MI. so I love any connection to the “Big Orange”.
Have known Peter who many years. Should have known he was a Katy Perry fan. Thanks for the info. Good luck to the whole team. We are all so very proud of all of you.

E Wils on 7/17/2012 @ 11:55pm EST Said:

If you can pronounce, “jus d’orange,” the sky is the limit. Hope to see you next week in The Smoke. Happy taper.