Author's Note: I wrote this post at the beginning of my fourth month of blogging, on July 1, 2008. In the intervening four years, both my chicas have graduated from college. Our friend Kate Ziegler, after making a name for herself in our 'hood, moved out to California. She came back to train at home earlier this year and heads to her second Olympics next week.
Artist and social critic Andy Warhol is probably best known-or most quoted, anyway-for saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Well, that's his actual quote. Other variations include, but are not limited to, "Everyone wants his 15 minutes of fame." No matter. La Familia Scribe knows someone famous. And she's no Andy Warhol, thank goodness!
Warhol was all about exhibitionism. Swimmer Kate Ziegler, who made her first Olympic Team last night in a thrilling 400-meter duel with Katie Hoff, is the polar opposite. The Pop Art icon of the '60s did silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe, and painted soup cans on canvas. His trip to the top could be characterized as meteoric. Kate is much more methodical. And modest. And, in the circles we swim in, The Best.
Those of you who have visited this space in the past know we're a swimming family. Ella Numera Una started out on our local summer team at the end of 1st grade. She took up swimming year-round the next year. Her sister, Ella Numera Dos, followed right on her heels, at the tender age of four. Both Chicas will swim together on their college team, starting this fall. Collectively, they've been swimming almost 30 Years.
Kate Ziegler joined our year-round team eight years ago. She swam with the Scribe Girls-and about 100 others--several times a week. Coach Ray Benecki, who's known us longer than about anybody, saw potential in the 6th-grader, even if she wasn't the fastest in the pool. He came up with a training plan. She worked hard. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kate is 20 now. Although she's registered in a local college, swimming is her life. She signed a seven-figure contract with Speedo two years ago. She has an agent, for gosh sakes. And we still see her hanging around the pool, several times a week. Yup, she stayed with our team. She's part of our swimming family. Everyone knows Kate Ziegler. She's the kid everyone has always liked; she's so darn nice. And modest. And methodical.
Ella Numera Dos said something telling the other day, just as the Olympic Trials were about to get underway: "Kate Ziegler proves that even regular people can go to the Olympics." We agree. Kate's special because she hasn't changed; she's just gotten faster. Kate swims two more Olympic Trials events this week-the 200 Free and the 800 Free. The 800 is her specialty, and she'll likely shatter the record books in that race. We'd expect nothing less. She's just our Kate.