Archive | 10:44 AM

Meeting Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona (Golden Glow)

27 Aug

Combining my love of swimming with my reading habit is always a wonderful moment. I was able to do that a few years ago when I met Anthony Ervin and just over a week ago I did it again when I met Kaitlin Sandeno. Sandeno is an Olympic medalist and former world record holder. She partnered with sports journalist Dan D’Addona to publish her memoir and one of her book tour stops was in Ann Arbor, MI, a short drive from home. I’m very lucky that there’s another swimmer/reader, Mike Gustafson, who, along with his wife, opened Literati Bookstore back in 2013. Mike is a college swimmer and former writer for USA swimming so he’s able to get big names like Ervin and Sandeno into his store when they’ve published their own books. Honestly, I don’t know how I got so lucky.

Sandeno and D’Addona

My good friend Sarah joined me for this event and we were lucky/brave enough to get front row seats! The event was set up like a conversation between Sandeno and D’Addona. D’Addona is from the greater Ann Arbor area and Sandeno formerly trained at the University of Michigan so both knew the area well. They’d spent time in Ann Arbor when researching the book. D’Addona had interviewed many people who were influential in Sandeno’s life and the book is largely a collection of these interviews. One thing that shocked me most is that Sandeno wasn’t committed to swimming until high school. She was still playing soccer in 8th grade! That’s crazy to think she’d be in the Olympics before college started.

Sandeno’s major event was the 400 IM and she’s best remembered for getting silver. Sandeno loves a good race and that was one with her being touched out by 0.12. She mentioned that she thinks intelligent swimmers are more likely to get into their own heads when they get to a race situation. I’m going to say that’s why I choke in races so often! She also revealed to us that the World Record-setting relay she was part of was her first international relay. She hadn’t been on the international scene long so the Olympics were a big jump for her.

I was able to ask a question and I asked for Sandeno’s opinion on the newly formed International Swim League (ISL) because she is the General Manager for the DC Trident. Her team is looking strong with swimmers like Natalie Coughlin, Cody Miller, and Katie Ledecky. Sandeno is the first American-born female GM in pro sports and she’s more than ready for the challenge. I’m so excited to see the first meet in October. She said she was most excited about the opportunity to give swimmers the ability to swim professionally and to have sponsors so they can concentrate on swimming and not worry about how they’ll earn a living. It’s an opportunity not many swimmers have.

Sandeno and D’Addona were generous to take time to sign our books and take pictures after the event. I’m so grateful to them for stopping in Ann Arbor and for Literati for hosting them. I hope we get more swimming memoirs soon so I can enjoy these events even more often.


My friend Sarah, D’Addona, Sandeno, and me

Until next time, write on.

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