ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Washington State University’s Head Swimming Coach Tom Jager, roots go back to Collinsville. The five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist shares his observations on how the games have evolved since he competed.
“Back in the day, it was oh my God, you lost, what’s wrong. The understanding that the swimming world, all of these Olympic medals are very competitive, no one just gives them to you,” Jager says. “I think that’s what really came out this year, the support of all the teams from basketball to swimming, swimming to the other sports, that’s changing and I like that.”
In the eighties, Jager says the American teams were separated, whereas today, they are all supporting each other.
He loves the sport, as does his wife, Belleville native Becky Jager, she is also the Assistant swimming coach at Washington State University.
Jager says he gets more emotional now, then when he was on the podium. He sees an evolution for the better with Michael Phelps – one that he equates with maturity.
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