7/02/2014

Handling changes and revisiting great interviews: Olympic Silver Medalist Jimmy Feigan

Today I learned that Yahoo has made the decision to end it's product/contributorship, Yahoo Voices.  I've been a contributor since November of 2006, and was at the highest level once could reach as such.  It is a sad day, and one which also imparted that all my content (every contributor's content) will be unpublished and all rights reverted back to me 100%.  With that in mind, I've decided to go through the most recent contributions, and also a few older interviews that deserve notice like this interview with 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Jimmy Feigen who happens to be a hometown boy right here in San Antonio, Texas.

Jimmy Feigen shows his 30th Olympiad Silver medal for 4x100-meter freestyle relay
Jimmy was signing autographs at our local San Antonio Humane Society in support of animal adoptions and no kill shelters.  At a young age, he's got a heart of gold, and I'm sure will win gold at the next Olympic Games.

OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST HAS A HEART OF GOLD

Before he won a silver medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay at this summer's Olympic Games, Jimmy Feigen was a hometown boy from San Antonio, Texas. A 2008 graduate of Winston Churchill High School and graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, Feigen and his family have been supporters of the San Antonio Humane Society advocating for spaying and neutering of pets to help prevent overpopulation and promote pet health. Feigen continued that support at an autograph signing at SAHS Thursday, August 30th.

The Feigen family lives next door to SAHS Director of Development, Pat Good, and it all started when he got caught!

"I think they (parents and Pat Good) first met when I was sneaking out of the house one night to go hang out with some friends. She saw me and called my parents, and that's how they met. Not really good circumstances to meet, but it was cool. They've known each other; I'd say about six years, and have lived next to each other for eight." Young Feigen was sixteen at the time and had just started driving. "I was out to meet the ladies, I guess!"



Jimmy not only advocates for SAHS, but his family has also adopted several pets from the facility including two dogs named Sunny and Layla, and his sister has adopted two cats. "Our two dogs are these beautiful yellow Labs and they're the nicest tempered dogs ever."

Jimmy signed autographs for fans on spay/neuter day at the SAHS clinic; it's just his way of helping to give back to his community that supported him not only for the 30th Olympiad in London, but even before world-wide recognition as he won gold medals in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, the 100-meter freestyle, and a silver medal in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen.

His engaging charm and humble nature are testaments to his family values which he attributes to his parents, and to being raised with pets. "I think every kid should have pets. It definitely teaches kids something about responsibility, and about life, and just about loving another creature unconditionally. That's a habit we all need to get in to."

SAHS new Director of Communications, Seamus Nelson, shared that "It's great to have Jimmy come down and support us like this. He's such a genuine and kind individual, and we appreciate it a lot that he took time out to do this." Nelson also expressed how impressed he was that someone as young as Feigen (22-years old) could exhibit so much maturity and poise.

Feigen has a month off before he begins training in earnest for the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but says it's not really a "month off". "I have a mile swim for the Swim for Cancer in San Diego, and a swim meet in San Francisco right on the bay, and then I have a clinic in Mexico."
"Rio's the next big thing, but I've got a whole lot of little steps to take before I get there. I'm excited and I feel like I'm coming in to my own right now." With Michael Phelps retiring, Feigen was asked what he would like to achieve in his career. "I want an individual gold medal, that's my main goal, but I also want to represent the U.S.A. again. Once you do it once, you just want to do it over and over again."

He shared that his experience in London was amazing. He enjoyed meeting so many diverse people, and all his fellow athletes like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Feigen also said he was overwhelmed by all the celebrities he met while representing the U.S. "It was cool!" Despite the glitz and glamour, Feigen remains true to his personal values and convictions, and is just as excited to greet fans and spend time with all the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens at the San Antonio Humane Society as he was while competing in London and hanging out with world-class athletes in the Olympic Village.

Image credits: M. Gwynn