staff, July 15, 2012

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 Read all of our Olympic journals. Davis Tarwater Peter Vanderkaay Matt Grevers Connor Jaeger