Folks have long been wondering how fast Tim Duncan was. Though, I’m not exactly sure what a “swim match” is…
— Seán Leonard (@YoGabbaGabrus) June 16, 2013
Most recently, during the Rio Olympics, Atlanta Hawks writer @KLChouinard wrote an article entitled, “Kris Humphries Beat Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte At Swimming As A Kid, And Here’s Proof“.
Naturally, Tim Duncan was brought up in the article because everyone knows he was a fantastic age group swimmer before Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only 50 LCM pool on the tiny island of St. Croix.
But, where are his times?! Nobody has his times!?
It’s not every day the swimming world has the opportunity to develop someone that is 6’11” tall. Especially one with superhuman athleticism. Do you see Duncan TOWERING over 2nd place finisher, K. Kolar of Islip, New York in that picture?
While reading Tim Duncan’s incredible NBA career-in-review I couldn’t help but wish and imagine they were pictures of him swimming. Pictures of him winning gold medals at the Olympics. Hanging out with other awesome swimmer’s like Popov, van den Hoogenband, or perhaps Lars Frolander.
swimduncan.com instead of slamduncan.com
But, alas, it wasn’t in the cards.
I met Jodie a few years ago while volunteering for International Water Safety Day. We teamed up with the St. Croix Dolphins, Kate Ziegler & Janelle Atkinson, the American Red Cross and others, to spread drowning awareness and water safety education to as many school children as we could.
After I read the Kris Humphries article, I emailed Jodie and asked if there was any proof of his times anywhere. It took a while to unearth these newspaper articles, but here is what they found…
At the 15th Annual Virgin Islands Swimming Championships, Timmy Duncan was 10 years old. He posted the following times:
50 Back: 41.7
50 Breast: 47.5
50 Free: 34.7
Not exactly the gazelle we were all hoping for. But, it seems perhaps that he may have had an off meet…
From an article dated February 17, 1986, Timmy Duncan posted a 50 Free time of 32.8. And while that is still a far cry away from Kris Humphries’ 27.71, he was only 9 years old at the time. The article goes on to say that Duncan won the 100 Free and the 50 Back but, unfortunately, provided no times.
We don’t have all of Tim Duncan’s times and we may very well never know without a shadow of a doubt who was faster.
But that doesn’t matter.
What matters is the inspiration and awareness garnered from Tim Duncan’s love of swimming.
And, the even better news?
The St. Croix Dolphins have more kids on the team now than perhaps ever before – and the government fully funded swim lessons for learn to swim classes for all 3rd graders on the island.
That’s what really matters.
The worst part of Tim Duncan quietly retiring between seasons would be missing 6 months of stories about how he likes to swim.
— Stephen Douglas (@Stephen_Douglas) May 13, 2016
Tim Duncan inspires me to swim
— Sweeterman Rich 🍍 (@RichInterlude) April 29, 2015
— Vidal A. Hinojosa (@Snake_EyesV24) June 16, 2014
— David Orr (@CoachDavidOrr) June 9, 2014
@JasonMinnix Tim Duncan’s next job? Inspiring kids to swim like he did before basketball. I know it’s a huge reach, but why not?
— JAE (@Golfgr8twannabe) July 11, 2016