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Q&A: Woodward talks Phelps, Olympics

by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 16, 2008 at 12:52 am •  Published: August 16, 2008
Last month, former Edmond Memorial swimmer Samantha Woodward was competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., with an eye toward the Beijing Olympics.

Woodward didn't qualify for the Olympics this time around but will try to qualify for London in 2012. Instead of being in Beijing, the soon-to-be freshman at Stanford is relaxing in Hawaii and watching as much Olympic swimming as she can. The Oklahoman's Ryan Aber spoke with Woodward on Friday about the Olympics, Michael Phelps' quest for eight golds and what her summer's been like since Omaha.

How much of the Olympics have you watched so far, and was it difficult after you didn't qualify?

I've watched quite a bit, as much as I've been able to from Hawaii. At first, it was kind of hard because I wanted to be there, but then I realized I don't want to just go to the Olympics, I want to be in medal contention when I'm there. I'll be better prepared for that in 2012.

You've been in meets with Michael Phelps and spent some time around him. Just how good is he, and what's he like away from the spotlight?

Michael has obviously prepared himself as well as he could. He really is as good as he's been made out to be. I've been at meets with him probably three times a year for the last three years, and he's totally normal. He's the most normal 23-year old guy I've ever met. I talked to him not long ago, and he's completely humble.

What's been the most surprising thing about his run so far?

I was not at all surprised that he won. It's been shocking, though, that he's been setting records every time out. That's just unheard of.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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Michael Phelps celebrates winning the gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly at the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing on Saturday. ASSOCIATED PRESS


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