After competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Alex M. Meyer ’10 has come full circle (made a complete lap?) in his swimming career, returning to Harvard to train with and coach for the men’s swimming and diving team.
Meyer is honest and ambivalent about his Olympic experience, saying it was an honor, yet a constant source of stress. He was disappointed with his tenth place finish, but this chip on his shoulder “has been nothing but motivation” for the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.
However, Meyer’s Harvard coach, Tim Murphy, underscores his Olympic performance. “It can’t be underscored how proud of a moment it is—for the athlete, for the coach. It’s such a good and positive reflection on Alex and on Harvard,” Murphy said.
Murphy and Meyer have worked together since Alex’s freshman year of college, and Murphy respects Meyer’s determination, a quality that was apparent when Meyer broke his collarbone a few months before the Olympics and overcame the injury to compete in the Games.
Now back in Cambridge, Meyer is both happy and honored to give back to his former team. “They’ve given a lot to me; I’m not a student here any more but I’m allowed to have a locker in the locker room and I train here all the time,” he said.
Although Meyer is now legally allowed to coach, not much about his daily routine will change. He’ll continue to train with the team and will only step into his coaching role when Murphy and Assistant Coach Kevin Tyrrell are out of town.
“His experience of being a Harvard student athlete is something the guys [on the swim team] can relate to and respect. That’s a unique perspective that I think is very valuable,” Murphy said.
After six years working together, does Murphy have any funny stories or telling anecdotes about Meyer?
“None that I can share with you,” he joked. “It’s a continuing, evolving story. As time passes he continues to make progress and reap the rewards. So one story wouldn’t be good enough.”