An Olympian’s Biggest Laugh

By Fitter and Faster Staff

We asked a few Olympians when they have laughed the hardest during practice.

Their answers:

Julia Smit

2008 Olympian 

“My first week at Stanford we did this relay after practice. At one end of the pool we had to pop a balloon with our teammates without using our hands. My team thought it would be a good idea for me to lay on the pool deck and put the balloon on my stomach, then have someone else jump and sit on it. Needless to say, it was a horrible idea and I left practice with a bruised rib! It’s still one of our favorite stories to this day!”

Chloe Sutton

2008, 2012 Olympian

“Back when I used to swim for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, Coach Bill Rose used to tell ‘Yo momma’ jokes at practice. I think his strategy was to make us practice our breath control by making us laugh so hard that we couldn’t breathe!”

Brenda Villa

2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian, water polo

“The biggest laughs would come from exhaustion-induced delirium. Any little thing would become hysterically funny for no reason.”


Davis Tarwater Davis Tarwater

2012 Olympian

“Try to make laughing something you do everyday at swim practice.”


Nick Thoman 

2012 Olympian

“The thoughts that go through my head during practice are usually so random – but I’m always able to crack myself up and stay entertained, even during long workouts.”


Peter Vanderkaay

2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian

“The biggest laughs always came from the interactions of different teammate’s personalities. Different senses of humor always made for constant funny things happening at practice.”

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace

2008, 20012 Olympian (Bahamas)

“I am usually out-of-control laughing whenever I have to do any type of breaststroke drill, especially if paddles and a buoy are involved.


Michael Weiss

National Team Member

“During a hard workout, anything from laughing at the coaches to a knock-knock joke can drastically change the mood of the set and keep the hard work fun!”


Scott Weltz

2012 Olympian

“We were doing a plank sequence during dryland and my friend’s suit ripped down the rear. You could hear laughter rippling from where he was centered.  Finally, our coach saw it and just yelled, “Ah! Cover that up!”  It took a few more seconds for my friend to realize the coach was talking to him.”

Kyle Whitaker

National Team Member

“A few teammates and I were up on a balcony overlooking the pool exercising with Swiss balls. One of the guys went to toss one to another, and me missed and threw it over the balcony into the pool.”

Get your laugh on with Fitter and Faster.