Inside with Brett Hawke: Mel Stewart

By Fitter and Faster Staff

The 1992 Barcelona Olympic Champion in the 200 Fly. One of the Founders of Swim Swam. Better known as GOLD MEDAL MEL.

Bring me back to Gastonia, North Carolina and how you got into swimming.
Were you being pushed by your parents? Extremely successful age group swimmers don’t always become Olympic gold medalists. Performing for your parents approval. 11 sessions a week but not until high school.
“I want to answer you: I was never challenged.” – Mel Stewart
Growing up in Heritage USA, the Christian city and theme park. Mel used swimming as a getaway and eventually escaped to Mercersburg Academy. He went from ranked 32nd in the world to 7th to 2nd in just a couple years under John Trembley.
“I wanted to go to Cal.” – Mel Stewart Mel chose to swim at Tennessee under John Trembley.
1988 Olympic Trials. Won Trials — one tenth off Pablo Morales’ record.
1988 Seoul Olympics were, “a very big bed shitting” according to Mel.
Got to Tennessee, started lifting heavy, and was in the distance lane.
“How do we unravel this ball of wax?” – Mel Stewart on John Trembley
John Trembley tried to get Brett banned from the NCAA.
Turning pro after his Junior year. Signed with Power Bar got his endorsements.
Expected to swim for JT leading up to 1992 but he left instead. JT did camps in the summer and thus wasn’t coaching Mel in the summers ever.
Trained with David Marsh at Las Vegas Gold for a summer in 1990. Marsh changed his stroke in 3 places.
Franke Bell supported Mel in breating to the side.
Mel’s Daily and Nightly Mantra
All about Michael Gross, The Albatross.
1996 Olympic Trials.
The birth and genesis of Swim Swam.

And much more!