National team swimmer shares advice with kids

HOOD RIVER — Local youth swimmers who have ever wondered what it would be like to be a world-class athlete found out Wednesday when U.S. National Team member Jay Schryver visited the Hood River Aquatic Center.

Schryver, 23, was in town all week filming a television program for Nickelodeon’s Splash TV, and took a few minutes to chat with Shelly Rawding and her Hood River Valley Osprey swim team after practice.

“This is one of the best things about my job,” said the 2001 World Championships bronze medalist and 2004 Olympic hopeful. “The clinics are usually a bit larger and more intensive, but it’s always fun to share my experiences with young, aspiring swimmers.”

Schryver, a former high-school national champion and five-time Colorado state champion, spoke to the group about his racing experiences, training regimens and nutrition habits, and encouraged the kids to take advantage of their top-notch facility.

“Swim hard and enjoy your beautiful facility,” Schryver told the group. “It’s a lot nicer than the pool I trained in, so take full advantage of your resources.”

Schryver, who works for Speedo, was in Hood River primarily to work on the Splash TV program, but he also got to enjoy some outdoor activities around the Gorge, such as kayaking, rafting and canoeing.

“This town has such a beautiful setting,” said the Loveland, Colo., native. “I love it here.”

While his job and his involvement with the U.S. Swimming Grand Prix circuit require a lot of travel, Schryver still calls Loveland home.

“I don’t want to give up my favorite river yet,” he said of the Big Thompson, where he spends much of his free time fly fishing.

Over the next 18 months Schryver will continue to train in Colorado for the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle, and 4 x 200-meter relay.

“I really hope I make it,” he said. “This has been my dream since I can remember.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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