Eugene Godsoe

QUICK STATS

  • Birthday: January 20, 1988
  • Hometown: Greensboro, N.C
  • Coach: Tony Batis/ Ted Knapp

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2010 NCAA Champion (100/200 backstroke)
Four-time 2011 Pan Am Games Medalist (4 silvers in the 100 fly, 100 back, 400 free relay, and 400 medley relay.
Two time United States National Champion (50 and 100 butterfly, 2013)
Member of the 2013 US World Championship Team
Two-Time Olympic Trials Finalist, including 5th in 100 back in 2012

EXPERIENCE

Eguene Godsoe took an almost by-the-book path on his journey to qualifying for the 2013 World Championship team. He was first an NCAA All-American. He then qualified to represent the United States at the 2009 World University Games. In 2010, he came home and took NCAA titles in the 100 and 200 backstroke, and then qualified for his first senior-level international team as a member of the 2011 Pan Am Games squad.

Godsoe then moved out east from his collegiate home at Stanford to SwimMAC Carolina, where he trained under the guidance of David Marsh. Marsh’s training group put 5 swimmers on the United States Olympic Team. Godsoe, however, was unable to take that next step in 2012 and qualify for the London Games.

This is where his direction diverges. In swimming, as in most things, there is a certain progression and a certain series of steps that will take an athlete a long way. To be truly great at anything requires taking a risk and taking a leap at some point.

At 25 years old, Godsoe had some decisions to make. Many swimmers at that age who still haven’t made the ‘big team,’ either for the Olympics or the World Championships, step away from the sport. This would have certainly been an easy decision for Godsoe to make: armed with a degree from one of the best universities in the world and already an accomplished musician, he had been accepted at Stanford as a volunteer assistant coach. Godsoe could have easily stepped out of competition and had success somewhere else.

Instead, he left his training group that had become one of the most potent in the world and returned to Stanford at a time the program was going through quite a few changes. There was some fragmented professional training there, but nothing at the level of what he was used to in Charlotte.

And that’s where things clicked. Under the guidance of a new Stanford coaching staff, Godsoe won the 2013 USA National Championships in both the 50 and 100 meter butterfly and qualified to swim at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and at last making it to the big team. Most importantly, he answered the question of who would succeed the legendary Michael Phelps as America’s best butterflier.

Godsoe’s story is one of perseverance; of taking all of the right steps, but failing to accept that the right steps are etched in stone. He had a dream, and he refused to let the status quo keep him from achieving it. For his efforts, he has been rewarded with a place among the best swimmers in the world.

Elizabeth BeiselFelicia Lee