Christopher is a skinny 13 year old with a grown-up's composure and physique competing (against 14 year olds) for the city league championships. The city that is swim crazy and has produced Olympic champions. He is swimming in the pool that a week ago saw the likes of Katie Ledecky, Lily King and Nathan Adrian compete for the National Championships.
There is a maximum of four events to swim, at least one of which has to be a relay. At this point, Chris' relay team, sometimes referred to as the Dream Team, of which Chris is the only 13 year old member, has won their relay. Chris has won 50 yard butterfly with a new league record. He has won 100 yard IM (individual medley) beating his friend and team member -- who, of course, is 14, and I keep mentioning this because at this age a year is huge in sports -- by a body length. This is his last event, 50 yard breaststroke. No one has ever won all four of their events in the history of the championships.
Can you blame the coaches and the spectators for going nuts?
I shot Chris' swim until finish, so I could not tell if he won. I thought he did. It was close. When he climbed out, I asked him if he got it, prepared to give him a fist bump -- these kids are too cool for high fives. "Missed it by 0.04 second", he told me and gave me the bump anyway.
It was not until later when the PA came on and congratulated Chris on sweeping all of his events for the first time ever that I realized that Chris had been bummed out about missing out on breaking the record. He never doubted he would win it all.
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