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Searching for peace around campus

September 17, 2020 | tqujrlgr | No Comments

first_imgIt’s been very difficult to escape the noise around campus. Although I am a fifth-year senior, I still live on Fahrenbrook; and like most residents of the sophomore-central area, I awaken every morning at 7 a.m. to the sounds of large trucks and construction. Though I have gotten used to the early wake-up call, I still have problems sleeping through sweet drunken anthems of “Living on a Prayer” and kegs being tossed off balconies. There has been little time for peace and solitude. I used to enjoy studying by myself at the Terrace. But recently, other students with similar motives have overtaken the union. I also used to find serenity by walking around campus. But construction has once again made a simple walk very difficult for me to be alone in my thoughts.As a former University of Wisconsin swimmer, I decided to try and find new sports that may provide a peaceful atmosphere. This summer I tried golf. However, my swing is so weak I need a partner to help me find the ball. I even attempted to play tennis by myself with a wall. Please, playing tennis with a wall in the hot humid air of the South isn’t a former athlete’s idea of fun. It was just as exciting as watching last night’s Emmy’s.I guess the one sport that I do miss that provides an ample moment of peace is swimming. Swimming was the perfect sport for me. I never worked up a sweat and got a great workout. It was the only time in my busy day that I could be myself, face down, staring at the bottom of the pool for five hours a day. Yes, 40 other swimmers surrounded me, but it is difficult to communicate underwater.Swimming is a great sport and like most non-revenue sports in the United States it is much under appreciated. Although American swimmers have dominated the sport since the mid-’80s, football, basketball, baseball, hockey and, now, poker have overshadowed it. More Americans participate in swimming than any other sport, yet you’ll usually only see about one competition a year on television. And according to a large amount of foreigners, swimming is the most popular sport to watch in most developed countries. We all know soccer is huge in Europe, but could you imagine 50,000 spectators crowding the stands to watch a swim meet?I miss swimming and I still give swimmers respect. High school and college swimmers wake up every morning at 5:30 to attend a two-hour swim practice, followed by another two and a half hour swim practice every afternoon. Practices are even held on weekends.It is an exhausting schedule, but any athlete would dedicate long hours for perfection. Although athletes spent countless hours training, we seem to only be interested in the dominant sports that make money. Don’t get me wrong, I love football and basketball, but it is often refreshing to watch a soccer or softball game. 84,000 fans can crowd Camp Randall, but why can’t 84 fans watch a swim meet? Two weeks ago, the UW soccer team traveled to Portland to play in the Nike Invitational. 3,000 Pilot faithful were in attendance to witness the match. However, last Saturday, when the Badgers hosted UW-Milwaukee, an approximate 300 authentic fans cheered on the schools. As much dedication as these athletes posses to their sports, we should show them more respect. It’s a shame that we only desire to attend football, basketball and hockey games. Non-revenue sports are just as entertaining as any other sport and most of them here at the UW are among some of the finest in the nation.Since I have been enrolled at Wisconsin, UW head swim coach Eric Hansen and his elite team of coaches have produced one world record holder, one Olympic gold medalist, two Olympians, two national champions and a plethora of Big Ten champions and All-Americans.And that is just the swim team. Head men’s cross country coach Jerry Schumacher in his tenure at Wisconsin has produced one NCAA champion, multiple Big Ten champions and has lead his runners to six-straight Big Ten titles. Not to shabby. Non-revenue sports don’t receive the media attention they deserve, but that matters little. They get respect from Barry Alvarez and the athletic department, which is appreciated. The only thing the teams want now is some respect from the student population.Most non-rev events are held off campus. Swimming and diving meets are contested at the Nat, soccer and track and field competitions are held at the McClimon Soccer Complex, golf is at the University Ridge, softball is played at the Goodman Softball Diamond, tennis matches are at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium and wrestling meets are at the Field House. It’s a far walk to get to most of these facilities, but your attendance will be appreciated. If you need one last motivation to attend a non-revenue sporting event, swimming and diving are the only sports on campus where you get to watch athletes compete in their swimsuits. And did I mention their bodies are also chiseled to perfection? So please show them some love.last_img read more