Olympic swimmers reveal the part of the sport that makes them cringe

We never expected to hear this, but it’s certainly refreshing.

Swimmers dive off the blocks at a USA Swimming Grand Prix event in June 2010 in California. Brian Bahr | Getty Images

Sure, Olympic swimmers love to swim—they wouldn’t have gotten this far if they didn’t. But there’s one surprising thing they all apparently just hate: that initial jump in the water.

Check out this new video from the NBC Olympics Facebook page, featuring US Olympic swimmers Natalie Coughlin, Elizabeth Beisel and Nathan Adrian, among others. We love their body language when describing that chilly plunge!

And who could blame them? It’s cold! It’s wet! They could have stayed in bed with a warm cup of coffee rather than hurl their near-naked bodies into the frigid ice bath that is an Olympic training pool. This video is frankly pretty funny—who knew that swimmers who’ve devoted their lives to swimming would find something so basic as actually getting in the water such a buzzkill?

But it’s also heartening: if they can summon up the courage, day after day, well … we can certainly lace up our sneakers for a slow jog or hit the gym for some elliptical time, right? So let’s get to it. The hardest part—for everyone—is just getting started.

Leigh Anderson
Leigh Anderson
Leigh Anderson is the author of "The Games Bible: The Rules, The Gear, The Strategies" (Workman, 2010) and has written for Vox, Newsweek.com, and Popular Science, among others.

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