Sportswriter Karen Crouse remembers her eighth-grade interview with super-swimmer Mike Bruner:
Bruner, not unreasonably, assumed the request had come from a reporter from The San Jose Mercury-News, Sports Illustrated or some other news media outlet. Imagine his surprise when he was greeted by a pigtailed pipsqueak holding 3-by-5 notecards in her trembling hands.
She used the Q&A in her hand-written “magazine,” called Splash. At the Olympic trials, Bruner was doing badly when coach Bill Rose had an inspiration:
Rose said he shoved the Q. and A. in Bruner’s face and made him read his answers out loud. He made him repeat this response to a question on the role of mental attitude in racing: “I’d say that swimming is at least 90 percent mental. You can work harder than anyone but lose a race because you don’t have a positive attitude. The swimmer with the best attitude is the one that will win the race.”