Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Summer's Time and the Living Is, If Not Easy, Different

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Summer's Time and the Living Is, If Not Easy, Different

Article excerpt

In the summer of 1992, Summer Sanders charmed America with a sparkling smile and swimming that earned her four medals at the Barcelona Olympics.

Now 21, the Californian with the unusual name and the never-frown personality still has reason to smile - even though her life involves staying dry.

Following the Olympics, Sanders gave up her collegiate eligibility at Stanford after two seasons, two American records and 10 NCAA championships. She still does endorsements for Speedo and Power Bar, and speaks to high school students on a nationwide tour.

And, she's a full-time senior at Stanford, due to graduate in December.

Sanders ended her collegiate swimming career to take advantage of the fleeting fame that came with her Olympic medals - two golds, one silver and one bronze.

"Opportunities from Olympic fame-type stuff don't come around that often and they don't last for long," she said. "My parents and my coaches and I decided that it would be best, and we kind of guessed. It was a gut feeling.

"But I really feel good about this decision. I have to say I was questioning whether I should have given up my eligibility or not, but you always seem to want what you don't have. If I would have been swimming, I probably would have said, `God, I should have given it up.' "

Sanders spent a few days in Indianapolis recently, pursuing her potential new career. A communications major, Sanders did commentary for CBS-TV at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.

She also handed out the awards in the 200-yard individual medley, and later said it felt strange.

"It was really funny," Sanders said. "The weirdest part was walking out but not being a swimmer. I'm used to your teammates giving you high-fives and here I am leading.

"I think it made me feel pretty old. But it was an honor."

"I think the weird thing was she came in with my class," said Lea Loveless, a classmate of Sanders who finished second in the event. "I would've liked to see her on the first-place stand. …

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