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Reviving an Olympic Dream, 25 Years Later

Jun 20, 2008 (Morning Edition)

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As an NCAA All-American swimmer, Hodding Carter narrowly missed qualifying for the 1984 Olympic trials when he was a college senior. Now 45, Carter has revived his dreams of Olympic glory. He's training in earnest for a long-shot bid at qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

Steve Inskeep talks with Carter about his quest, which he chronicles in a new book, Off the Deep End. His training is rigorous — but his life as a father of four children can be pretty demanding, too.

Carter is the son of Hodding Carter III, who served as assistant secretary of state in the administration of Jimmy Carter (no relation).

In the book, Carter recalls talking with his father about his plan to dedicate the first four years of his post-collegiate life to an attempt at making the U.S. team for the 1988 Olympics.

The elder Carter wasn't pleased with the idea. "It's time for you to grow up," he told his son.

As Carter writes in his book, "I'd had only one real summer job my entire spoiled life, and my time had finally come to do something other than swim."

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