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Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club, Melbourne, VIC. K likes. Melbourne Vicentre is one of the most successful swimming clubs in Australia. All Legs Ankle Cuff Only - Trp - Water Sports Swimming Swim Belts . Under: Freestyle with Ian Pope, Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club Head Coach. partnership with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) to boost the standard of Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club. Samantha Hoschke-Edwards This paper will soon be supported by video clips. Welcome to our.

You have refreshed our memory. Your triumph over the Molokai Channel is our triumph, too. Thank you for that, Keo Nakama.

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We all needed it. So read a note of appreciation which appeared in the Monday, Oct. Thepound swimmer hadn t competed since winning 13 National AAU championships between What drew over 10, spectators and well-wishers to the beach and cliffs surrounding Hanauma Bay on Friday evening, Sept. Nakama had tackled the mile Kaiwi Molokai Channel and would emerge from the water 15 hours and 37 seconds after diving in near Laau Point on Molokai.

But what awed the entire state of Hawaii was something more. It was that something Nakama tried to instill in the Island youngsters he came in contact with as a teacher, swim coach and softball coach. That even those goals which seemed in able can be achieved through the proper dedication, preparation and effort. Kiyoshi later Keo Casey Nakama began his legendary swimming career in the Hawaiian. Sakamoto had started with a small group of youngsters including Nakama s sprint running-mate Takashi Halo Hirose which grew to over boys and girls.

The plantation allowed Sakamoto to move his entourage to the new Frank F. Three- Year Swimming Club was born. Both Nakama and Hirose went on to win several individual and team honors under Ohio State University Coach Mike Peppe, during WWII, But it is believed that the war and subsequent cancellation of the 40 Olympics was the only factor that kept them from winning Olympic swimming medals.

In the Buckeyes were greeted by jeers and snide remarks at the National Indoor Championships at Yale University for entering a certain fresh man of Japanese ancestry. We were at war with Japan. Coach Peppe stood up and told the crowd that Ohio State has only Americans on this team and our American-Japanese boy swims.

The crowd cheered the favored Yale swimmer, Renee Choteau, when he stood up on his block. When little Nakama took his place the crowd was deafeningly silent. Choteau caught Nakama at the mark of thatbut Nakama not to be denied pulled ahead in the last five yards to win the event. The crowd, realizing here was a man worth of his Japanese-American title, gave Nakama a standing ovation.

Nakama had shown a lot of people that day that anyone even the Oriental son of an immigrant plantation worker can become anyone he wants to,provided he is willing to work hard at it and be proud of what he is. It s a philosophy Nakama has carried with him wherever he has ventured. Nakama didn t abandon that philosophy. In fact, it was that notion of believing in oneself that was most responsible for pushing Nakama across that Channel even after others, including Greta Andersen, the Danish-born channel swimmer had failed.

The whole idea of tackling a channel crossing came from buddies at the Y, and it started as a joke. It was there that my racquetball buddies started telling me that I could do it. Greta Andersen had tried two times earlier that year, so it was on eve one s mind. The joke turned serious and I finally decided to try it. So Nakama increased his training regimen, enlisted the help of a few friends and dove into so to speak the seemingly impossible.

The event entailed a great deal of planning: Bill Chung and Tom Higa co-chaired a committee to sponsor Nakama; experienced fishermen and divers familiar with existing currents were recruited; Capt. Tommy Akana charted the course and Dr. Wakai prepared a high protein concentrate for Nakama s meals in route.

After one postponement due to unfavorable currents Nakama plunged into the water at 3 a.

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Kaeo provided an escort on either side and behind Nakama. In front was a shark cage towed by one of several accompanying sampans and cabin cruisers. Forty-three men in all came across the Channel with Nakama. At times other swimmers joined Nakama for short period of time to pace him. One hour out, Nakama became sick when a glassy sea turned to rough open ocean and he lost Thursday evening s steak dinner.

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For a short time he entered the shark cage to recover, then re-entered the water. Twice more he was sick and felt nauseated until he was stung on the arms and torso by a man-o -war.

The stings made me forget I was seasick. I thought about all the work my friends had done and how they believed I could do it. After several course changes and some feedings of tea and orange juice with honeyand more man-o -war stings, Nakama came within view of Oahu. He ordered his crew to put on some steam. I swam for what seemed like hours and the mountains of O ahu didn t come any closer. I was sure somebody was moving those mountains back. After a double dose of the orange mixture he pushed stubbornly on.

He looked more as if he d just finished a leisurely afternoon swim than a grueling mile actual distance covered channel crossing. Throngs of people swarmed around him almost disqualifying his effort before he reached the designated finish line. They screamed and reached out to him, yelling congratulations. I made it Mama, he said to his wife, Evelyn, as she draped a lei around his neck and hugged him.

His six daughters, also bearing leis, struggled through the crowd to join him. Nakama recalled he was kind of tired, but wise I felt real good. Asked by a reporter if he wanted to repeat the feat, he d replied, No, I don t think so. That's the last time I swim that one. Nakama s mentor, Coach Soichi Sakamoto, wasn t surprised by his protege s milestone: When he made up his mind to do it, I knew he could.

In all his years of competitive swimming, he always accomplished whatever goal he set. Nakama, who picked up the nickname Casey since he never struck out on the Buckeye base ball team, is still active in the Kawananakoa Softball League and assists the Detroit Tigers as a local talent scout. By Dave Reardon, June We re just like dogs, the yearold man says with a laugh.

Every team has its own tree. This weekend he ll still be talking story and smiling with old friends and new ones, but not at the park. He ll be at the Kaimuki High pool. He will be at the swim meet that is named for him, to hand out awards and encourage yet another school of young fish.

Maybe one of these will someday reach his accomplishments and surpass them. But most will become distracted by team sports, a job, or the opposite sex.

Or victimized by plain old burnout. He would like to see one good enough and tough enough to make the Olympics, the one accomplishment that circumstance denied him. It s hard for Keo Nakama to tell kids today that they should swim, swim, swim. And then, swim some more, like he did.

That they should swim, swim, swim, swim until they feel like their arms are going to fall off-so that they can restore Hawaii to the aquatic glory it enjoyed during Nakama s generation and before. Sure, there were times when he swam because he enjoyed it.

That s how Nakama got started. He and other plantation kids in Puunene, Maui, would shed their clothes on hot days and sneak into the irrigation ditch just to cool off and goof around, not to train, not to prepare for world Back L-R: Bunmei Nakama, unknown, Keo Nakama records and channel crossings.

That would come later. Ho, it was funny, he recalls, laughing. Sometimes, the camp luna foreman would come after us. Everybody gotta run out bare balls and hide. He d come after us with a horsewhip. It was Huckleberry Finn, but real life. In time, it became Horatio Alger, but real life. We were a poor plantation family, I swam because it was the only way I could go to college, he says, I needed to get a scholarship.

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It was my only chance. Under the guidance of legendary Coach Soichi Sakamoto. He became one of Hawaii s greatest swimmers when many of the greatest came from Hawaii. And, in the process, he got that college opportunity he wanted and eventually earned a master s degree in education. His storied career included a world record He even captained the baseball team and played second base for a conference championship squad.

World War II cheated him out of the Olympics when he was at his peak in andbut Nakama has never been bitter about it. Hey, I was lucky, he says. I got to travel all over the world. The only place I didn t get to go to was Russia. Nakama says he was the victim of racism only once when he was on the mainland during World War II. And 16 At a time when Hawaii was known for great swimmers, Keo Nakama became one of the best. But there was a time he was scared.

I ll never forget December 7,Nakama says. Peppe ordered me to report to his office. I thought I was done, that I d have to go home or worse. We ll be OK. Nakama served in the Army Reserve and also taught sailors how to swim as a volunteer. He tried to get to the front, but was rejected for having flat feet.

His pleasing personality and the support of his teammates and coaches saw him through his college years. If there was one thing Coach Sakamoto taught me, it was to be humble, he says. Nakama was so popular he became the first member of Oriental decent in the Delta Upsilon fraternity. Another college roommate was fellow Hawaii swimming legend Bill Smith. Nakama remained close to Campbell and Thomas until they both passed away two years ago.

He have a football signed by Barry Sanders and a bat autographed by the Tigers World Series winners. But those items are merely symbols of something much deeper that has nothing to do with the athletes who signed them. I ll always remember the war being on and they would take me home to their families, he says.

I couldn t afford to go home for holidays. After college, Nakama became a teacher and athletic director at several Oahu schools. He was also a state representative for 10 years something he didn t enjoy.

I hated the deal-making, he says. Do you have a job for my daughter? The accomplishment Nakama is best known for-swimming from Molokai to Oahu didn t happen until he was After accumulating soft pounds on his 5-foot 6 inch frame, he joined the YMCA to get back into shape. My weight came down, and some guys at the Y said Hey, why don t you swim the channel? I said, Hey, sure, I thought it was a joke. But then people started to put time and effort into it. I couldn t back out.

Thousands saw him come out of the water at Hanauma Bay on the evening of Sept. Nakama was enshrined in the international Swimming Hall of Fame in He s lived a quiet retirement, playing ball and hanging out at the park and swimming a couple times a week. But only once a year does he become the living legend he is, to quietly inspire the young ones. The summer, right before the Olympics, Nakama s house was burglarized.

Many mementos of his swimming and baseball careers were stolen. Nothing has been recovered. Nakama and his wife, Evelyn have six daughters. She will compete in the free solo routine to the music of Maria Callas. Dedieu says she wants to "capture the energy" of the diva. They just love her. You are constantly working hard to support yourself in the water. I gave it a go and I loved it," she says.

Last year, she was honoured with the "Golden Woman" award, which is given to a Frenchwoman for a remarkable contribution in any field. Her popularity is even greater in Japan where synchronised swimming has a large fan base. After the championships, she plans to tour Japan with a stage music and water "spectacular" before returning home to find an interior design job. I am happy this is finished, I wanted to do more in my life and go on with different things.

Before I was sad. I only hope we can do them proud by winning," he says. Afroudakis, 30, is in Perth training at Challenge Stadium for the championships. The stakes are also higher — a placement at the championships will give Greece instant qualification to the Beijing Olympics next year.

Born in in Vougliameni, near Athens, Afroudakis played basketball, soccer and water polo growing up. We get to travel together and we know what the other is going to do while we are playing, and that is nice," he says.

It is a position known for its gruelling physical toll. Just joking — but it is a high-pressure position. Massi is like my Italian-Aussie nickname that they have given me.

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She is 94 years old," says Rosolino. His Italian father, Salvatore, and Melburnian mother, Carolyn, returned to live in Italy when he was six years old but Rosolino says he vividly remembers growing up in eastern Victoria — especially the first time he got into a pool. But it broke so I had to learn how to float very quickly.