"I dream about an enlightened swim, one where being in the water feels like flying," says Becky Dyroen-Lancer, 25, the world's best synchro swimmer.
Late in the afternoon Dyroen-Lancer's dream of flight briefly comes true. From underwater, two back-flipping bodies soar into the air in opposite directions in perfect synchronization. As they sink from sight, a third woman, her arms thrown back as if to accept the world's adulation, emerges from the chlorinated foam like Venus. She rises until only her feet are still submerged. It's beauty beyond metaphor. The women tread serenely, and around them the rippling water turns golden in the slanting sun.
I'm dying to leap up, to stand and clap and whistle. Problem is, my shoulders hurt too much to move.