10 Things You Didn’t Know about Rowdy Gaines

rowdy gaines

When you’re a three-time Olympic gold medalist, you get to call yourself famous; that’s precisely what Rowdy Gaines gets to do. He’s the man who brought home not one, not two, but three Olympic Gold medals in the Olympics. He’s just good at what he does in the pool, and people will always remember his name. Now that it’s time for the summer 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, people are talking about Rowdy Gaines again. He’s someone who went down in history as being one of the best of the best, and now that there are some more of the best of the best turning up, it seems as if this is one man who will share the spotlight before too long. He was http://celebritytoob.com/reality-tv/michael-phelps-quotes-show-champion/one of the original best swimmers in USA history, and we have an appreciation for that. It makes us want to get to know a lot more about him.

He was very ill for a time

Back in 1991, Rowdy Gaines thought his entire life was over when he was swimming. He was diagnosed with something called Guillain-Barre syndrome when he became paralyzed. Typically, it’s not all that common to bounce back from this as it does paralyze you. However, he was able to accomplish a full recovery after spending two solid months in the hospital. His doctors decided it was his amazing physical shape that helped him to come back. He owes it all to swimming.

His name isn’t Rowdy

He might go by Rowdy Gaines, but his name is actually Ambrose. We can see why he might want to go by Rowdy instead. For one, Ambrose is not a very masculine name. Secondly, Rowdy is just a cool name to get to call your own. We get it, we like it, and we think it’s the kind of name that you just want to have all for yourself.

He’s the oldest Olympic swimmer to qualify in 1996

Rowdy Gaines wasn’t afraid of a little age. He was 35 when he qualified to join the team USA in the Olympic games in 1996. However, he decided he would not go on to compete that year as he had already competed more than once and he was ready to focus on his forever career as a sports analyst. It was a good decision on his part, and no one is upset with him.

He didn’t do well at sports

When Rowdy Gaines was in high school, he wanted to be an athlete. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t very good at sports. That’s when he found his way into the pool. He grew up swimming all the time, and it was then that he realized he was pretty good in the water. He became more competitive with his swimming and to make a long story short, he ended up bringing home three Olympic gold medals for it. It’s the kind of thing that makes you say, “Who cares if you’re good at sports?”

He’s a Floridian

I have to say that I was a bit surprised to learn that Rowdy Gaines was born and raised in Winter Haven Florida. That’s only an hour from where I was born and raised, and that’s a small fact I just never had any idea about. It seems he’s someone who grew up swimming, like the rest of us, and that’s probably why he is so good in the pool. We Floridians swim most year-round.

He could have won more gold medals

Rowdy Gaines wasn’t good at sports and he didn’t swim professionally for a long time throughout his childhood, but he was good. In fact, he set 10 world records in six years from 1978 to 84. He could have won more than a few more gold medals in the 1980 Olympic games, but the United States decided that they would not participate in the games that year being that they were being hosted in Moscow. We wonder if that ever makes him feel as if he was not given the fair chance he deserved?

He’s got four kids

As someone with four kids of my own, I get why he has so many. For one, he has all daughters. We have four because we had all daughters and wanted to try that last time for a little boy – we would have stopped at four regardless, however. We were shocked when baby number three for us was not just another little girl, but also a little boy. Rowdy Gaines and his wife live in Lake Mary, Florida – also near me – and they have four little girls. Well, they’re not so little anymore. They’re pretty much grown up as he is in his late 50s now.

He’s a college graduate

Being a Floridian (a Gator, to be precise) we love our SEC teams. We all have our favorite team, but we will pull for any SEC team when ours isn’t playing. That’s why we are not too ashamed of the fact that Rowdy Gaines was an Auburn Tiger. He went to college there with a full swim scholarship, and he graduated from there in 1981 – just a year after he probably would have taken home his first Olympic gold medals had he participated.

He Quit Swimming

Back in the early 80s when the USA gave up their chances to attend the games in Moscow, Rowdy Gaines thought he’d lost his chance to ever appear in the Olympics. His dreams were crushed. He then made the decision that he would never have an opportunity to swim again in the Olympics. He was afraid he wouldn’t qualify again, and he was beside himself. He quit swimming for months until his father talked him into taking it up again.

He won all three medals in 1984

It seems that he might have gone on to become an Olympic swimmer more than once in several games. However, the USA decided not to attend in 1980, and he won all his record and medals in 1984. From there, he never took home another Olympic medal. He was, though, remembered for his amazing talent in the freestyle swim meets and challenges he appeared in. Don’t forget, too, that he won more than his own fair share of world championships.

Photo by Getty Images

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