A Solitary Pursuit

It may be time for one of history's finest relay swimmers to stake her claim to individual glory

Swimming is a solo sport. Sure, there are relay teams, but the glory is in personal triumph, as in the indelible image of all those gold medals dangling from Mark Spitz's neck.

You don't need to remind Jenny Thompson of that. She is America's best sprint swimmer and the most decorated female swimmer of the 1990s. Yet there is a question mark that hovers over her record like an early morning fog at the Stanford University pool where she trains.

Can Thompson finally win her very own Olympic gold medal this year in Sydney?

It's not that Thompson's mom...

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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