The Italian swimmers were just as pleased with Smith's staff. It set them up with John Cavolo, a Flagstaff city councilman who is a second-generation Italian-American and, more important, the chef-owner of The Pasta Works restaurant in town.
"This place is such a long way from the rat race in Toronto," says Canadian swim coach Mike Pliuskaitis, whose team spent the last weeks before its Olympic trials training at NAU's 50-meter pool. "Everything is taken care of, so you can focus on work." When the Atlanta Games begin, the residents of Flagstaff will be watching to see if that work pays off.