Janet Evans: Coaching the Turtle Race

Hi Race fans! I hope you’re enjoying the action as much as I am! I am coaching three turtles in this Race: Nueva Esperanza, Searcher, and Nightswimmer. That means I have my hands full, but it has been worth it!

IN DEPTH: Learn more about Janet Evans.

Coaching the turtles has been pretty easy, because like me, they are already natural swimmers, just born to be in the water. I grew up near the ocean, and I thought I started at a young age by swimming my first laps at age 2, but these turtles are braving pounding surf, powerful currents, and even lots of hungry predators immediately after coming out of their nests as tiny hatchlings! Pretty impressive!

I think my turtles are doing pretty well so far. Nightswimmer is in a crowd, which is where she likes to be, having followed her sponsors, rock band REM around the world on tours. Nueva Esperanza has a strong power stroke, reminiscent of my patented windmill stroke. I told her not to worry – people used to tell me I wouldn’t go far with such unorthodox technique, but I showed them!

Although I’ve given all three turtles the same advice and mentoring, I have to admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for little Searcher. Like me, she’s the most petite competitor in the Race, but I’ve told her to just swim hard because her small size means she can go faster than those other humongous turtles! She’s so inquisitive and interested in learning everything, and I can’t get her out of the water. As you can see from the Race results so far, she’s easily distracted as well, but always having fun!

ON THE MAP: Don’t forget to follow the turtles on the race map!

The experience being a coach in the Great Turtle Race has been a great one so far. I’ve been around a while now, and seen a lot of things, and been a part of many, many races during my career. I’ve even had experience with teaching swimming, through my work with the Make a Splash Foundation and countless swimming clinics.

But being involved in the Great Turtle Race is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here we are – a bunch of Olympians, the best human swimmers in the world- helping the best swimmers of the turtle world in their long journeys across the oceans. This is probably the most important coaching job I’ve ever had, and I’m thrilled to be helping some of the most magnificent creatures on the planet continue their Race for years to come.

UPDATE: Listen to Janet Evans talk about her life, her love for water creatures and Nightswimmer’s race strategy.


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