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1 year ago
Natalie Coughlin: Quick Chat

Coughlin was a star in the Athens and Beijing Games, taking home 11 swimming medals between the two Olympics. After taking a break from training, she's back in the pool, and took third in the 100 meter butterfly at her first meet, a Grand Prix event in Austin. We recently talked to Coughlin about her return to the sport, and got her thoughts on the Winter Games, too.

What are your goals looking towards the 2012 Olympics?
I honestly don't know. I'm just starting to get back into training right now. It's a long time away, and it's always been something I've kind of kept to myself.

What kind of training are you doing now?
I'm taking it a little easier getting back into the water. I swim once or twice a day, up to two hours a day, and then I do Pilates on top of that. In the next few weeks, I'll start adding more weight lifting and more time in the pool. I just don't want to do it all at once.

What have you been up to since the 2008 Games?
I haven't been swimming, but I have been very busy. I got married, I did Dancing with the Stars, and I kept up with all of my sponsor obligations. I was also training, just not in the pool. I was running almost every day, lifting weights, and doing Pilates to stay in good shape.

Besides getting married, what has been the most fun thing you've done?
Dancing with the Stars, hands down. I loved every second of it. I wish I'd lasted longer! (laughs)

Did you watch the Winter Games?
I did, though it was hard to stay up [late] because I've been hitting the pool at quarter to six or so every morning. But I'd go on the Internet and watch the next morning. I was really cheering for Johnny Weir. I think he is so entertaining to watch. I desperately tried to stay up for both of his performances, but I passed out.

If you could do a winter sport, which would you want to try?
Definitely snowboard cross. That is by far my favorite and I think it's the most fair. The Winter Games are so difficult to watch, because it seems like in every winter sport, there is so much luck involved: not getting knocked over by another competitor, or the politics of being judged. Like in short track, for instance, I love it, it's awesome. But knowing that your competitor can fall and take you out and there's nothing you can do about it...it's unfathomable to me. I can't imagine training for years and years, and then it can be ruined because of someone else involved.
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