Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Aquaman: Swimming Can Help You Achieve the Lean, Strong Look Olympian Johan Kenkhuis Has. Psst ... but You Won't Have to Work as Hard as He Does to Get the Results

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Aquaman: Swimming Can Help You Achieve the Lean, Strong Look Olympian Johan Kenkhuis Has. Psst ... but You Won't Have to Work as Hard as He Does to Get the Results

Article excerpt

It can be, difficult, to appreciate just how much of a feat it is that 25-year-old Johan Kenkhuis has a medal for each of the two Olympics that lads swum in. After all, in the United States water sports haw created heroes for gay men, thanks to out Olympians like swimmer Bruce Haves and divers Greg Louganis and David Pichler. But swimming isn't the glamour sport in Kenkhuis's native Netherlands that it is here.

Thanks, though, to the fact that Netherlanders must get a diploma for swimming skills when they're between 5 and 6 years old, the country produced some of the top competitors in swimming during the 2004 Olympic Games. Kenkhuis's personal drive was boosted by his desire to join in with his older three sisters and brother, father, uncle, and cousins. All were active swimming athletes, mostly in water polo. Eventually he discovered his own talent.

"When I was about 10 years old I found out I was pretty good at swimming," he says. "I won three times in my age group at the national championships and repeated that the following year. Then I reached puberty and wanted to join the water polo team because it seemed like more fun being on a team."

He continued at water polo until he was 15, making it to the national championships with his team. Although he'd never given up competitive swimming, after placing only seventh in competition while being ranked in the top three nationally, he realized he needed to apply himself to the sport more. "I couldn't really cope with that result," he says. "I decided to focus on my swimming and joined a very good team. After that I got my first two gold medals."

Only months later, he says, he "accidentally" qualified for the European Junior Championships. That success inspired the birth of a star athlete: "I knew then that I could do more if I wanted to. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.