Going for gold is not as easy as it sounds! Tell us something new Sam Dorman...
Remember what your parents used to tell you during your schooling days? Study hard, get a job and have a good life. And in some form or rather, that is how the world works now. We want what's best for our kids and so we push them, usually in academics though. And Southeast Asian parents push for good grades, good schools and eventually a good job and a better life then they had. To many of us, the idea that our kids could do something athletically is an alien concept. Of course, when Tiger Woods was tearing up the world of golf and I was writing about golf, I'd come across many parents hoping that their kid would be the next Tiger. But it wasn't athletic excellence that was pushing most of these people but the obscene amount of money that the American superstar was earning. As you can imagine, when the greatest golfer of our generation fell from grace, the dropout rate for kids in golf schools, academies and classes was precipitous.
So what's all this got to do with Sam Dorman, his relationship with Swiss watchmaking brand Mido and his exploits in the Olympics? Well, everything and yet nothing directly. Speaking to an Olympian for most Southeast Asians is a matter of 'so what?' As you've read, our parents have steered us away from frivolous ideas like sports and so we have a very limited idea of what it takes to not only make it to the Olympics but to win a medal. Which is why I'm going about this in a way closer to my sports writing days rather than the watch and car writer I am today. What is the point of telling you that you need to train hard every day? What does that even mean? For Olympians, it means around four to eight years of pushing yourself physically and mentally to the utter brink of insanity and collapse. The closer to that edge you get, the greater your ability and should you fall off that edge, injury or worse awaits. So here's where Dorman or as he insists, Sam comes in.
Why Mido? "Accurate timing, the legacy and the inspiration of architecture. Every Olympian and in fact, every athlete has a story, it's nice that I get to wear a watch has its own story. And if you do what I do for a living, you need your accuracy in timing and keeping time. My whole day revolves around training and so that's all about time. I'm just back from injury currently but if I want to get back to the top, a brand like Mido is a great help to get me there."
Dorman isn't dormant
Although we speak for some time, it mostly revolves around the technical aspects of his chosen sport of diving. He shares tips of what exercises he does to get tucked and such while I tell him that I watched Greg Louganis on TV one day. So it wasn't a fair conversation but Sam embodies something I have seen in Mido watches particularly the Ocean Star which sits on his wrist in the cultured environs of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Unheralded, low-key but tough and built to go the distance. "Yeah, it's a great piece to have. I could have been all day at the pool, doing three meter dives with this and then shower, put on a nice suit and come here!" And yes folks, if you have only a few percentage points in body fat, a good suit shows it off just as much as a Speedo.
As it is now April and we spoke back in October, last year, it is my pleasure to tell you that he is back to top form having won the men's synchronised swimming national championships with his partner Michael Hixon. Sam and Michael will now represent Team USA in Budapest in the World Championships. Again, the hard work in involved is unseen and we may have not much of an idea of the sacrifices he makes but rest assured, if he wears a proper watch like a Mido, he'll be on that podium sooner rather than later.