Olympics Week preview: ‘Swim’

swim.jpgOn Monday we kick off a week of Olympics coverage on The Daily Circuit. We’re going to speak with all kinds of people – elite athletes, coaches, scientists – about what it takes to become a world-class competitor.

One of the shows I’m most looking forward to, however, has less to do with becoming an elite athlete, and more to do with exploring a sport and the pleasure we gain from it. Lynn Sherr, a veteran journalist, has a new book focusing on her passion for swimming. Swim is an all-inclusive look at our love for the water, from the health benefits of a long swim to the most famous obsessions with the great blue sea. The book also follows Sherr’s training for a swim across the Hellespont – the channel that separates Asia and Europe.

But even if you’re not a competitive swimmer, there’s something about an open body of water that appeals to just about everyone in July. I know a dip in a lake or river is something I dream about all winter. As Sherr writes in the opening pages of Swim: “Henry James, as usual, said it best: the two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘summer afternoon.’ Add the word ‘swimming,’ and the day blooms even more grandly.”

So in case you needed any more reason to beat the summer heat at a Minnesota lake, tune in Thursday at 11 a.m. to let Sherr convince you.

–Madelyn Mahon, assistant producer