IU NewsNet 3-12-2020

Moments after we finished our newscast, several new coronavirus developments broke. March Madness–for now–is off. Almost all professional and college sports are cancelled or on hold. We have multiple angles on the IU Covid-19 impact. Students and faculty react to the historic decision to take all classes online for two weeks after spring break. Some students scramble after spring break trip cancellations, and you’ll hear from IU students abroad who say it’s a nightmare. The extended break could put your Bloomington house at risk. We’ll tell you what you need to know to keep burglars away. Indiana has a new distracted driving law, and a key witness in the impeachment hearings speaks to a packed house at IU. This is our last in-studio newscast until campus classes resume, but we’ll find a way to bring you the news in the interim. Welcome to a new way of life–for all of us. Join anchors Mary Kate Hamilton, Szu_Min Yang and Maxwell Glenn on sports.


Bloomington: Olympic Training Destination for Swimmers


Indiana University is known for producing Olympians, but where are they now? Some are a lot closer than you might think.

As concerns regarding the coronavirus continue, the outbreak is not slowing down plans for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Athletes around the world continue to prepare for the games as the Olympics will carry on as expected, including those who train right here in Bloomington.

They continue to chase their main goal, which Indiana University alumnus Zach Apple described.

“Everybody wants to grow up to make the Olympics,” Apple said.

Indiana University is home to one of the top collegiate swimming programs in the country, but it is also known for its postgrad training program, led by Indiana Swimming and Diving Head Coach Ray Looze.

“We’ve got one of the top pro groups in the country. United States Swimming looks at us as one of the three most important places where Olympians are being cultivated,” Looze said.

After four years of swimming under the banners in Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center, Hoosiers tend to stick around and train with some of the best coaches in the country aspiring to the greatness of those displayed on some of those banners.

But Hoosiers are not the only ones attracted to training Bloomington in hopes of making it to the Olympics. Annie Lazor is one of those swimmers who graduated elsewhere but found Indiana the best place to prepare for the games.

“I did not graduate from IU, I actually swam collegiately at Auburn,” Lazor said.

Lazor described the benefits of training alongside Lilly King and other professional swimmers.

“They want to swim with the best in the world. You know that’s kind of the number one thing on their list and we’ve got that,” Looze said.

In addition to the talented swimmers, the coaching staff is also another attractant.

“Every member of our coaching staff almost has coached an individual Olympic medalist and so that’s something that’s hard to find,” Apple said.

With an elite coaching staff competitive environment, and their sights set on the Olympics, the expectations are as high as you would expect. Greatness has become the standard.

“You’re just going to go, make the Olympics, and then we’re going to go win medals, so I think having the group that we have makes it a little easier to handle,” Apple said.

The pro group trains under Looze’s innovative training techniques, regularly working toward their common goal.

“People don’t come here and work twenty hours to week just to not improve and not reach their goals,” Lazor said.

Many of the athletes are focused on making it to the Olympics, but Head Coach Ray Looze wants to see more from his swimmers.

“Honestly, it’s not enough just to go. You want to go and do something. You want to go and be in the final, ideally on the podium. There’s nothing like winning an Olympic medal – I like all the colors,” Looze said.

As Zach Apple described, the offseason will consist of one of two things.

“Either bask in the glory of the Olympics or the crushing defeat of not making it,” Apple said.