Connect with us

Swimming

WHERE R THEY NOW?: BARBARA GAYLE

1988 Olympian still has the love for swimming

Sport: Swimming

A 15-year-old Barbara Gayle leaps off the starting block in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. (photo taken by Barbara’s dad)

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Sports: silver and bronze swimming relay medals 1987 South Pacific Games; 100m butterfly 1988 Seoul Olympics; 1995 and 1999 South Pacific Games; Women’s age group and wetsuit division winner, 2017 and 2018 Oceanside 1.2-mile Tiki swim. Outrigger paddling: 2nd place women’s masters, 2017 Catalina channel crossing (U.S. long-distance outrigger championships)

Profession: Loan portfolio manager for a community bank in San Diego

Family: Single / no kids

GSPN: First off, let the Guam sports fans know what Barbara Gayle has been up to?

BG: I’ve lived in San Diego for almost 20 years. I came back to the U.S. mainland to get my MBA and settled here, where I’ve been working in commercial banking since 2004. In terms of sports, I previously competed in outrigger paddling with Kai Elua, a local club, but more recently I have returned to my first love of swimming – specifically ocean swimming. I also spend my spare time hiking, lifting weights, and doing CrossFit-type workouts.

GSPN: With the Tokyo Olympics going on, what goes through your mind when you watch that level of competition?

BG: I am in awe of how much faster the swimmers have gotten, with all the advancements in technique, training methodologies, and swimwear. Also, the best swimmers can turn pro, which didn’t used to be the case. I look at a phenomenon like Katie Ledecky and find inspiration in her discipline and poise under pressure, even when faced with a rare second-place finish. 

GSPN: You were 15 years old in the Seoul Games in 1988. What in the world was going through your mind when you reached the starting block?

Gayle represented Guam in the 100m butterfly in the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea.

BG: The experience was overwhelming on many levels, but when it came down to the race, I did my best to focus on what I could control in the 100m butterfly: my start, breathing, technique, and pace. In some ways I was a scared kid on that block, but I pushed all that aside to focus on the task at hand.

GSPN: What were some of your major takeaways about the sport and life itself after the Seoul Olympics?

BG: That attitude of focusing on what I can control and letting what is outside my control – which can induce anxiety, if I let it – fall to the background, has served me well in sports competitions, such as long-distance outrigger racing, and in my job, which is bound by deadlines. I’ve learned to let go of my attachment to being perfect in all that I do – perfection is not the goal, but rather constant improvement. Training for the Olympics taught me the importance of discipline, and I’ve learned to enjoy the process and allow myself some grace when it comes to mistakes or failures.

GSPN: We see you’re still swimming in the waters of California. That’s got to be cold compared to Guam’s waters.

BG: Yes, definitely! It took an adjustment, and I swim in an open-water-swimming wetsuit when the water temperatures dip below 66. But in the summer, when temps are around 68-72, I enjoy the freedom of movement in a swimsuit. The ocean water feels refreshing, and it can be a rush once you acclimate. When I go back to Guam and swim in the ocean, that takes an adjustment – the water is so warm!

Now living in San Diego, Gayle can’t wait to visit home for Thanksgiving.

GSPN: What would you say to a 15-year-old Barbara Gayle today to prepare her for an Olympic slot?

BG: I would say something like, “Perfection is not the goal. You’ve qualified for your event, and you’ve trained as best as you can. You’ve got this! No matter the outcome of the race, as long as you do your best, that is worth commending.” I would also advise her to enjoy the full Olympic experience – cheering on Guam teammates and watching the other events. 

Gayle is expected to make her next visit home for Thanksgiving for a couple of weeks.

Ad

Athletes Birthdays by W5

GPS Sports Calendar

November

December 2021

January
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
Events for December

31st

No Events
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Events for January

1st

No Events
Events for January

2nd

No Events
Events for January

3rd

No Events
Events for January

4th

No Events
Events for January

5th

No Events
Events for January

6th

No Events
Events for January

7th

No Events
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Events for January

8th

No Events
Events for January

9th

No Events
Events for January

10th

No Events
Events for January

11th

No Events
Events for January

12th

No Events
Events for January

13th

No Events
Events for January

14th

No Events
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Events for January

15th

No Events
Events for January

16th

No Events
Events for January

17th

No Events
Events for January

18th

No Events
Events for January

19th

No Events
Events for January

20th

No Events
Events for January

21st

No Events
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
Events for January

22nd

No Events
Events for January

23rd

No Events
Events for January

24th

No Events
Events for January

25th

No Events
Events for January

26th

No Events
Events for January

27th

No Events
Events for January

28th

No Events
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
Events for January

29th

No Events
Events for January

30th

No Events

National Guard Athletes

National Weightlifter Jacinta Sumagaysay

Sergeant Jacinta Sumagasay has had all kinds of weight on her shoulders and the Guam Army National Guard has been there through every step. The Guard has given Sumagaysay plenty of opportunities in life while also allowing her to do what she does best – lifting her way to Guam’s best in her weight class of 59kg.

Polls

Do you like the change of having ISA boys and girls sports being played at the same time? (example: boys & girls basketball going on at the same time)

View Results

COMING SOON …

3rd Quarter Sports

  • ISA/IIAAG Boys & Girls Basketball
  • ISA Boys Soccer
  • ISA Boys/Girls Tennis
  • ISA Wrestling
  • ISA Paddling
  • ISA Girls Softball

QUICK HITS

5-year-old Guam Sports Network boss Ezra Lujan presents Mangilao Mayor Allan Ungacta with a Free Library made by Team GSPN.
It includes kids books, supplies and backpacks in hopes of promoting children’s reading in Mangilao.

——————————————–

In GRC’s first race of the year, Derek Mandell and Sharon Hawley were the first male and female finishers of the Cross Island 10-mile run Saturday morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More in Swimming