The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 23, 1998 - 11
Shakespeare at home around world
By Uma Subramanian
Da sport \ fter
The Olympic Games are the ultimate
goal in any amateur sport. Only three
Michigan women's swimmers have rep-
resented their native countries at the
prestigious event. Sophomore Shannon
Shakepe are is the most recent
Wolverine to accomplish this feat.
Besides the Olympic Games,
Shakespeare has other international
experience. The quadrennial World
Championships, the second-most
important meet in international swim-
ming, is the latest addition to
Shakespeare's impressive resume.
Last week, the World Championships
were held in Perth, Australia.
Shakespeare, swimming for her native
Canada, was the only Michigan swim-
mer entered in the meet. Shakespeare
put on an impressive performance in
the tournament, placing 10th in the 100
freestyle with a time of 56.30. Prior to
the meet, Shakespeare was No. 16 in
the world in that event.
"I did pretty well in the meet,"
Shakespeare said. "It was a great expe-
rience for me to compete on such a
level. I definitely improved and that
was a good feeling.
"The Worlds are generally faster than
the Olympics, so it was very tough
competition. It was really neat because
there were 120 countries there. It was a
fun and different environment because
you weren't just swimming against peo-
ple from one countrv."
For Shakespeare, the Olympics and
the World Championships are a dream
come true - a dream that has been a
long time in the making.
Shakespeare, a Winnipeg. Mnitoba
native, began swimming comn petit!ixely
at age four, with her father coaching her
"I watched my brother swim when I
was really young, and tell completey in
love with the water:' Shakespeare said.
Motivation, work ethic and raw talent
distinguish world-class athletes. But
Shakespeare is in a class of her own,
according to Michigan women's sw im-
ming coach Jim Richardson.
"She's one of the most unique world-
class athletes I have ever met,"
Richardson said. "Shannon is a very,
very gifted swimmer, but she's very
humble, unassuming and compassion-
ate. If you were to meet her, I don't
think you'd ever get the impression that
she is a world-class athlete."
The sacrifices Shakespeare makes to
compete internationally are evident in
her winter training schedule: She spent
a rigorous winter break training session
with the Michigan swimming team in
Hawaii and 23 days in Australia with
the Canadian national team prior to the
Shakespeare credits her motivation
to a true love for the sport. She also
credits her brother for being her inspi-
"I used to watch my brother swim ...
and h swaLm all through high school
Ind college ' Shakespeare said. "While
he never competed much on the inter-
national level, he always swam with
heart and drive. He's now my biggest
She said she also credits Michigan s
team atmosphere, which she says
mink s swimming fun, to fueling her
drive. Shakespeare said she enjoys the
N AA competition because it is simi-
lar to what she experiences on the inter-
national level; many international
Olympians swim for college teams.
In the future, Shakespeare dreamts of
returning to Australia for the 2000
Olympics in Sydney. In the meantime,
she's looking torward to swimming for
Michigan for the next 2 1/2 years.
"I think she contributes a great team
attitude; she's willing to do whatever is
best for the team by swimming a vari-
ety of events" said Richardson. "You
couldn't ask for any more."
Shakespeare said she couldn't have
asked for any more than what she has
gotten out of her swimming experi-
"I just really like the fact that through
swimming I have grown as a person,"
Shakespeare said. "You learn a lot
about yourself, and it's a great way to
find out who you are and explore other
"But above all it allowed me to find
Seven-time All-American Shannon Shakespeare has five Big Ten titles to go along with her Impressive International resum6 -
a fesum6 she'll try to expand at the 2000 Olympics.
Shannon Shakespeare's International File
Member of 1996 Canadian Olympic Team
2 17th place, 100-meter freestyle
0 seventh place, 440 freestyle
9 fifth place, 800 freestyle relay
3 fifth place, 400 medley relay
Captain -1997 Canadian Pan-Pacific Championship
silver medal, 400 freestyle relay
N silver medal, 800 freestyle relay
SAN DIEGO (AP) --- The biggest
crowds at Super Bowl interview ses-
sions have surrounded Brett Favre and
John Elway, Terrell Davis and Dorsey
Levees, Antonio Freeman and Shannon
The defensive players get attention,
too, but nowhere near as much as the
guys who do the scoring. Hey, even
Reggie White wasn't engulfed by cam-
eras, microphones and notebooks every
Perhaps the focus on offensive play-
ers is natural. The Broncos, after all,
averaged 29.5 points a game in leading
the league. The Packers scored 26.4 to
top the NFC.
Yet when Favre, the NFLs three-time
most valuable player, was asked what
will make the difference Sunday, he
"Defense," the Packers quarterback
said. "Pure and simple, whichever
defense makes more stops. Defense
does win championships:'
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Miami hockey games?
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