Joan’s Olympic Story

The Tory Writing Group, Waterford

Illustration: Charlotte O’Connor

Illustration: Charlotte O’Connor


It was Valentine’s Day. Joan and Russel were meeting in Dublin. They were meeting in the pub. Russel was there first and he had a drink while he was waiting for Joan. Joan ran into the pub. She was a bit embarrassed that she was late.

“Sorry for not keeping the time,” she said to Russel.

“I was at swimming training all day.”

“Never mind. You have a good heart. I was looking forward to seeing you,” replied Russel.

Joan sat down and explained to Russel what the Olympic training entailed. “I’m competing in back and front stroke. I’m also training for the relay. I want to do the diving competition as well,”

Suddenly Russel looked up and pointed his finger in the air. He had just had a great idea.

“Look, I can help you. I can be your trainer,” Russel had a smile on his face. Joan was a bit hesitant. She felt shocked.

Her eyebrows jumped up. “I’ll speak to my parents. I have to think about this.”

The next day, Russel showed up at the swimming pool. It was a big pool up the town and it was quiet that morning. Russel was looking forward to the training. He was in his tracksuit and he had a whistle.

Joan came into the swimming pool feeling tired. She didn’t get enough sleep the night before because she was thinking about Russel’s suggestion. She was all up in a heap about it.

“Oh my God,” she whispered to herself when she saw Russel. She was about to tell him her decision about the training. “Look, I’m feeling a bit tired. Can we do the training another day?”

“Does this mean I’m going to be your trainer?” Russel was delighted. Finally, all his training as a coach was going to pay off. He had spent two years studying in England.

Together, Joan and Russel were going to work to help Joan to compete at swimming in the Olympics.