Kicking and gliding through the water-- it takes a lot more than just talent to become an Olympic swimmer; there's a lot of work.
At the London Olympics a piece of the Green Mountains is helping train swimmers out of the pool. There can be days between Olympic races, so to keep in top shape, some swimmers use VASA machines made in Essex, Vt.
"It feels great to be part of everything and it's even better because we were requested by swim coaches and team around the world and that's why the Olympics bought them" said Rob Sleamaker of VASA.
Our Michael Phelps fill-in for the day, Justin Boufard, is on the UVM swim team and uses the VASA machines to train.
"It's a different type of experience than in the water. You notice your form differently," Boufard said.
Rob Sleamaker founded VASA almost 25 years ago. He's a former triathlon trainer and was looking for a way to keep athletes fit off the course. He says the VASA machines give swimmers an edge. From kicking off the back of the pool to strokes, the machines help perfect form and measure strength.
"They can't see what's going on in the water but can put them on the erg or trainer and see immediately what's happening," Sleamaker said. "See, he's bending here. We want him straight and pull straight back because that's how he accesses the biggest muscles in the back."
A picture of Michael Phelps before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where he won his first gold medal, shows him using a VASA machine.
"It's helpful to get on, swim and get that feel for the motion, that endurance and power. So when you do race, you can have the best performance you can," Boufard said.
A Vermont company giving an extra edge to Vermont swimmers and Olympians.
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