Ed Odeven Reporting

This article appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun on July 9, 2005.


By Ed Odeven

Every day of your life is a page of your history, a wise man once said. Even so, some days are more significant than others. Some days are unforgettable. Some days are life-altering experiences.

Some days are, well, like Aug. 20, 2004.

That was the day Japanese swimmer Ai Shibata became a household name in Japan, the day she shocked millions by winning the 800-meter freestyle at the Athens Olympics, surging to first in the final 100 meters. In doing so, she became the first Japanese female to win a gold medal in a freestyle swimming event and ended the Americans’ run of five straight golds in the event.

“I didn’t even think about that, (didn’t) even dream about getting gold,” Shibata said through interpreter Osamu Gushi at NAU’s Wall Aquatic Center Friday…

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