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The Last Word:

Olympians instill pride

August 16, 2008

Come into the offices of the Daily Pilot and you’ll see a photo of backstroke Olympian Aaron Peirsol gracing our walls.

We remember when the mop-headed swimmer from Newport Harbor High was an Olympic hopeful, not a champion.

Today, despite his upset the other night in the 200-meter backstroke that left him hoisting a silver medal instead of gold, Peirsol has had a swimming career others can only dream of.

Indeed, he won the gold earlier this week in the 100-meter race and set a world record in the process. In fact, since the early 2000s, Peirsol has dominated the backstroke like no other.

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Peirsol, however, isn’t the only Olympian in Beijing with Newport-Mesa roots. Volleyball superstar Misty May-Treanor and her playing partner Kerri Walsh are there defending their championship. Former Costa Mesa High standout Sharon Day is competing in the high jump, and John Speraw, the volleyball coaching phenom at UCI, is an assistant coach on the U.S. team.

Speaking of UCI, they also sent players to the Olympic water polo team.

Yes, we know, the Olympic ties to Newport-Mesa are deep. And Peirsol and the rest should know we are proud of them all.


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