W. Hodding Carter
Quail Ridge Books and Music—"Duuuuum, dum. Da dum dum dum dum..." Don't recognize that beat? Well, wait a few months and it will be everywhere. No, it's not the next smash summer pop hit; it's the Olympic theme song, already getting plenty of play time on NBC in preparation for the 08/08/08 beginning of the Beijing Olympics. And W. Hodding Carter hopes to be parading around in a Speedo to that tune come August.
Though he was an All-American Swimmer at Kenyon College in the 1970s, Carter did not qualify for the 1976 Olympic trials. Nor did he qualify in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 or 2004. Yet at the age of 41, he has renewed his quest for Olympic glory and has chronicled his journey in his new book, Off the Deep End: The Probably Insane Idea that I Could Swim My Way Through a Mid-Life Crisis and Qualify for the Olympics. Some may scoff at his plan, yet Carter now has some of the fastest times in his age group, and the book is dedicated "To all those aged athletes out there with a burning desire to kick some young butt." He'll be discussing his race against both time and Michael Phelps at 7 p.m. —Jessica Fuller