Three weeks ago, Troy Dalbey made headlines in more ways than one. During the U.S. Olympic Trials, the San Jose, Calif., swimmer beat Matt Biondi in the 200-meter freestyle finals at Austin, Texas.
He also drew additional publicity for his decision to transfer from Florida to BYU.But Dalbey could well draw more attention soon. Training at altitude in Colorado Springs last week, he said his times at over 6,500 feet were better than his times have been at sea level.
And Seoul, Korea, where he will be competing in the Summer Games for the United States, is at sea level.
"I'm swimming better than I ever have," said Dalbey in a telephone interview from Hawaii. He and other team members will spend two weeks in the Islands before moving on to Seoul.
Dalbey, whose family is moving this week from San Jose to Phoenix, said after the Summer Games he will report to BYU about October 15. It is a move that shocked the swimming world. Though rumors have circulated for months about his impending move, the decision continues to draw gasps from swimming experts.
Dalbey based his decision on his recent conversion to the LDS Church.
Dalbey used the Trials to qualify for the Olympics in the 200-meter freestyle and the 400-and 800-freestyle relays. The 400-relay team is expected to win the gold medal. He is ranked fourth in the world in the 200 free.
"I'm not ranked at the top, so there's no pressure," said Dalbey. "I'm where I want to be. Winning gold is definitely possible. I'm not counting myself out."
He says the Americans have a good shot in the 800-relay, but will be severly tested by the East and West Germans and Italy. "All those teams are tough, so we're not sounding our horns about winning gold."
Dalbey was an item of considerable attention during the Trials. Since then he said much of the media attention has died down. The bulk of the pre-Olympic hype has gone to Biondi and other more seasoned swimmers. Dalbey has only had one year of collegiate swimming experience. He spent the past year training for the Olympics.
"Things have kind of died down since the Trials," he said. "But I didn't expect to be in the limelight. I'm young and not very well known. Others got more attention, because I'm so new."
However, he said that doesn't preclude him from hoping to come home from the Games with some hardware. "My goal is to come home with three medals. I hope it's gold, but if not, I won't be disappointed."