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LYMPIC OASIS

Photo: Ian Walsh

New swim center brings gold standard to training Cal swimmers swamped the competition

Spieker and fellow Cal swimming

at the 2016 Summer Olympics, bringing

legends — Rick Cronk ’65,

home a staggering 19 medals, including

the late Don Fisher ’51, and the

eight golds. In the wake of their epic

late Warren Hellman ’55 — launched

win, athletes were welcomed back with

the “More Water” campaign to build an

a well-earned upgrade to their campus

Olympic-worthy facility. In 2012,

training facilities.

Spieker and surviving donors and family members established Cal Aquatic

The $18-million Legends Aquatic Center,

Legends, a nonprofit that functioned

funded primarily by private donors,

as a springboard to the new facility.

opened last September with splashy fanfare. The state-of-the-art facility has

Until now, the competitive swimming,

a 52-meter pool, three-story diving

diving, and water polo teams had

tower, and moveable bleachers that can

been sharing one congested pool

accommodate 500 spectators. Athletes

with recreational swimmers and club

can now train with more space and

sport teams.

pool time, and divers no longer have to travel to Stanford every week

Not anymore.

to practice. “Having two pools has really opened “Cal has a world-class aquatics program

up our practice times,” says

and has done it with fewer resources than

Kathleen Baker ’19, who earned

most competitive programs,” says former

a silver and gold in Rio. “We’re enjoying

Cal water polo letterman Edward “Ned”

being part of history, knowing that so

Spieker ’66, who helped fund Spieker

many of our predecessors helped create this amazing facility.” ■

Aquatics Complex in 1982. “That’s why several of us decided to help.”

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The Promise of Berkeley

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Winter 2017


Promise of Berkeley Winter 2017