40-year-old Olympian visits TCU

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans had a designated lane in which to practice at the University Recreation Center Thursday morning.

Head coach of the swimming & diving team Richard Sybesma said Evans was in town doing a motivational speaking event and her agent contacted the university to see if she could use the school’s facilities.

“We had to jump through a few hoops to get it done,” Sybesma said. “She was able to train — not with us — but at the same time we were here.”

Sophomore Mandy Vincent said Evans practiced right next to the women’s swim team, which coincidently had a special morning workout.

“Our particular workout this morning was a set named after her, the Janet Evans set, and it was really long and really hard,” Vincent said. “It was really funny to do the Janet Evans set while [she] was there.”

The team did not have the chance to talk to Evans very much, but they were able to take a picture with her after practice, Vincent said.

“She seemed really nice and really fit considering her age,” Vincent said. “It’s really cool how she’s making a comeback this year.”

Evans was only 17 years old when she won three gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She won her fourth gold medal at the Barcelona Games in 1992.

At the age of 40, Evans is attempting to make her first Olympic team since retiring after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Sybesma said Evans has a brother that lives in the area, and he said she most likely will be back for a few more times to train.

“It’s pretty special for our team,” he said.