They are some of the best swimmers in the world
and yet some, including several on the
He is one of the strongest swimmers on the
"[Asthma] is really common," says Grote. "As a matter of fact, a few people on the Olympic team are asthmatics. It's because the humidity of the surface of the water is good for people with asthma. It strengthens your lungs and your heart and allows you to improve."
Asthma also gave Kurt Grote a calling in life. He has been accepted at
A lot of swimmers would love to be just like Kurt Grote. He is an intensely focused young man who often swims 10,000 meters a day in practice. "I actually keep a journal of all my workouts," he says. "I started this last fall. And so every time I do a workout, I write it down. I compare it to past workouts so I know exactly where I should be every single day."
Even a horrible bicycle accident could not prevent Grote from working out. Skip Kenney is his coach, "You know, [Kurt] had a bike accident and lost 17 percent of his skin and never missed a practice. Now, he couldn't do breast stroke in some of those earlier practices, but he never missed."
That dedication paid off. At the
Grote credits his former teammates on the Stanford men's team with helping make him the athlete he is today, "The people on the team have just improved me as a person incredibly. They've improved my work ethic. They've made me care more about swimming because I love...to workout and I love swimming with them."
That feeling is obviously returned, as the men's swim
team made clear during our poolside interview with Grote at Stanford. They were
saying his name -- Kurt Grote -- something a lot of people may be doing before
the games in
Kurt Grote enters medical school at Stanford this fall, after the Olympics.