The Other Daughter

A blog by Lara Jackson’s sister

Luck Be A Lady

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on July 9, 2009

 . . . and that lady is a tramp!

Humans blink their eyes every 5 seconds.

Lightning can move 1 million meters in 1 second.

A hummingbird flaps its wings about 50 times a second.  That’s one wing flap every .02 second.

The time it takes to lose a spot on the U.S. National Team is .01 of a second.

Mom tossed and turned all night.  I woke up with a rhinoceros sitting on my chest.  We made it to Prelims early enough to get good seats.  As the meet progressed we stopped talking . . . then smiling . . . then breathing.

The Prelims for the 50 Free had 10 heats.  Lara would swim in Lane 4 in the 9th heat.  Dara Torres would swim in Lane 4 in the 10th heat.

Heat 1: 26 seconds, then

Heat 2: 25 seconds, then

Heat 3: 25 seconds, then

Heat 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: 24 seconds each.

That’s the thing about the 50 Free: days, weeks, months of anticipation, and the race itself takes less than 30 seconds.

The Heat 9 ladies did not come on deck immediately.  Mom and I reluctantly started to breathe again.  One of the swimmers had to change her suit.  There’s a meet official who examines every swimmer’s suit to make sure it follows the ever-changing FINA guidelines.  A swimmer in Lara’s heat had to change, delaying the meet.  The strain got to me.  Lara gets so primed before her race, any bump could throw her off.  I was wrong.

Lara swam a 25.31, fast enough to get her into Finals, with a shot of First Place, and a chance to compete at World Championships in Rome.

Lara seemed ready when we brought her lunch.  She seemed confident, prepared.

A few hours later, we returned to the pool, again early enough to get good seats in the sold out bleacher section.  We recruited the spectators around us to cheer for Lara. 

A short minute and a half goes by, and all that expectation deflated as we saw the horrible number 3 next to Lara’s name.

1st Dara Torres at 24.43 seconds

2nd Amanda Weir at 24.70 seconds

3rd Lara Jackson at 24.71 seconds

The difference one-one hundreth of a second can make.

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3 Responses to “Luck Be A Lady”

  1. Carly Rose, you described our day to a “T”. In the light of a new day, Lara, you and I discussed what would come next. Being a true champion that she is, Lara is setting her next move. Stay posted.

  2. nichole said

    time. it seems an impossible thing. luck might be a lady, but time is a dungeons and dragons character, chaotic neutral. a rouge god with the power of possiblity at his fingertips, he plays maker with the deftness of a skilled weaver, threading the could haves and will nevers together to make the fabric of our lives. one onehundredth of a second. an eternity in microcosm.

  3. Karen Phillips said

    Carly,
    You have such a way with words. Lara has had so many things happen recently. Losing her father and taking time off to grieve for that enormous loss. Considering all that has happened, I think Lara performed exceptionally. Nany, Gramp, Jim, Kurt, Liwan, Kandi I are all very proud of her time in this race. She is coming back strong from the tragedy of losing her dad, and Keith would be so proud of her strength.
    Love Karen

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