Janet Evans Fails to Make Olympic Team but Wins Respect

The Olympian, 40, wanted to inspire others and prove something to herself

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

It would have been the comeback of the century, but Janet Evans is OK with failing to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team.

“I’m proud I had the courage to try,” Evans, 40, tells the Los Angeles Times after finishing 53rd out of 65 at the trials in the 800 freestyle, an event she set the current American record in back in 1989.

Evans, who has won four gold medals and retired after the 1996 games, started training again two years ago, according to the newspaper. Despite figuring out months ago that she was going to fall short, she refused to quit.

“Doing something for myself and inspiring others to maybe go do something they’re scared of doing, or maybe outside their comfort zone,” she tells the Times. “I think it became bigger than making the Olympic team.”

There totally should be a medal for that.

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