It is a small world.

Last week I spoke at Salisbury University where Jill, the head swimming coach (and assistant athletic director) used to be the swimming coach at a college in Michigan. In 1992, Jill’s team swam St. Mary’s (the girls’ school across the road from Notre Dame) in January – the week before our bus accident. They swam at Rolfs Aquatic Center, in our pool, and Jill recalls being in the locker room at the same time as we were.

I do not remember this, but their coach does. She remembers because the following week she and her team were so shaken by the news of the Notre Dame swim team bus accident. They had just been there; they were just at “our” pool; they had just seen us so alive and carefree – not knowing what would happen in a few short days.

I find stories like this fascinating. I do not have an image of myself just prior to the accident. Some of it is a blur, some of it was just too long ago. So it was interesting to speak with someone who had a connection to our team – from a distance – and yet was able to provide such insight into how wide-spread the effects of our accident was felt.

 Jill is now coaching on the east coast, again just two hours from where I live. She asked me to speak to her teams and the athletic department as a whole. It was an honor to do so – and mutually enjoyable, I believe. She got to hear the rest of my story to date, and I was privileged to share how our team impacted her team 18 years ago. It is a small world within the swimming community.