Track: The Long And Short of It

A sprinter who looks like an 18-wheeler and a kitten-size tiger lead the U.S. team

Fullerton, Calif., mid-July. Bud McAllister sits hunched against the early morning chill, his conversation teleporting from East Germany to Seoul, his eyes fixed on Lane 1 of the big outdoor pool at Independence Park. It is 7:15 or so, and Janet Evans, the slight, frail-looking 16-year-old swimmer he coaches, has been churning up and down since 5:30. McAllister glances at his stopwatch. Evans, he says, looking a bit startled, has just swum an exhausting set of 20 400-meter freestyle segments, one after another. "That's a real big, tough set." What jolts him is that her last 400, done after 7,600 meters...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!