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|Gold Medal winner to host swim clinic at ULM natatorium|
During his high school years, Rowdy Gaines tried out for five sports and was cut from each one.
Swimming was next in line, and at age 17, Gaines finally found a sport in which he excelled.
"In each sport, I met one failure after another, and swimming was next on the list," Gaines said. "I just wanted to be good at something, and I really wanted to get a scholarship. I fell in love with it immediately, and about a week later I began dreaming about swimming in the Olympics."
Gaines, a Florida native, eventually received a scholarship to swim at Auburn University, and he accomplished his dream of swimming in the Olympics in 1984, where he won three gold medals.
For the first time ever, Gaines will host a swim clinic from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at ULM's Lake C. Oxford Natatorium.
The clinic will mark the kick off of 'Rowdy's Kidz' which will sponsor several swim clinics around the country.
"I want to share everything I can with these kids," Gaines said. "Swimming gave me so much, and I want to give something back."
"I want these kids to have the chance to pursue their dreams," Gaines continued. "If I can be a small part of that, it would be the best reward I could hope for."
The clinics are sponsored by the Limu Company, which has one of its top distributors in Monroe. The Limu Company distributes nutritious drinks worldwide.
"We think this is a great place to start," he said.
There is no cost for children to attend the swim clinic. Sponsors only ask that each child already know how to swim. The event is open to children ages 6 to 18. Parents and their children can register at the natatorium on Saturday.
The goal of the clinics is to teach children how to swim better, Gaines said. He also wants to share his success story with the children and let them know it is never too late to achieve their dreams.
Gaines also wants to teach children how to swim safely since it's estimated that nine children die each day from drowning.
Swimming is good exercise, he said, and the group wants to promote the sport to help prevent childhood obesity in America.
Following the event, Gaines will be available for autographs and to show off his medals.