he's still got it
Former Longhorn Olympic swimming stud Brendan Hansen returns from retirement,heads to London
“Hook ‘em Horns,” Brendan Hansen told the crowd of more than 12,000 at Tuesday night's U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb., while kneeling down like a pro wrestler and raising his hands up, Longhorn style, to celebrate his first place victory in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Hansen, a former UT swimmer and two-time Olympian, isn’t prone to showiness.
"No one would ever expect me to do something like that," Hansen said. "I’m not a flashy guy. I don’t have grillz in my mouth [like Ryan Lochte]. I don’t have eight gold medals [like Michael Phelps]."
But some moments in sports demand a little extra celebration, and a return trip to the Olympic games is one of them. After finishing fourth in the event in Beijing in 2008, Hansen announced his retirement from swimming, although those close to him he never thought he was truly done.
Hansen stayed in shape, entering triathlons around Austin, and by 2010 he found himself back in the pool more and more.
Next thing he knew, “[I] found myself at lunch with Eddie Reese [legendary longtime Head UT men’s swimming coach], and all of a sudden we were coming up with a plan.”
With a time of 59.68, Hansen was the only swimmer under a minute in the 100-meter breastroke Tuesday night, and his first place finish came with an automatic ticket to London — the third straight Olympics for the 30-year-old.
So far, Hansen will be joined by former Longhorn Ricky Berens, who after a third place finish in Wednesday night's finals of the 200-meter freestyle, will head to his second-straight Olympics as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay team.
Tune in to NBC Thursday at 7 p.m. for live coverage of the Olympic trials, and catch Hansen in the semi-finals of the 200-meter breastroke, along with other Austinites competing for a chance to give those Brits — and the rest of the world — a good old Longhorn salute in August.
Kathleen Hersey and Garrett Weber-Gale are both hoping to head to their second-straight Olympics. Hersey, despite a great showing in the 100-meter butterfly Tuesday night, narrowly missed making the team with a third-place finish.
She goes into tonight’s semi-finals of the 200-meter butterfly with a strong third-place seed, while Weber-Gale competes in the semi-finals of tonight’s 100 m freestyle.