July 24, 2005 — When Misty Hyman decided it was time to retire from professional swimming and get into hotel management, she knew right away St. Croix was the place.
She had been here earlier at a Buck-to-Buck swim (Buccaneer Resort to Buck Island) and said, "I met so many good people here. I fell in love with the place."
Hyman has been swimming — and swimming fast — during most of the 26 years she has been on Earth. At her high school in Arizona, she set public school records in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard back stroke. Attending Stanford, she became the 1998 NCAA Swimmer of the Year.
However, her big year came in 2000 when she won the Gold Medal at the Olympics in the 200-meter butterfly.
Talking about her life recently, she said, "It has been a dream come true. You could not write a better screenplay."
After the Olympics there was a shoulder injury torn cartilage and surgery.
Recovery and retraining turned out to be more difficult than she thought it would be. She had turned professional and had sponsors like Visa and Speedo. She made the finals in the time trials for the 2004 Olympics, but she said her shoulder was never quite the same and she missed the final cut.
Her goal now is to own her own resort. She is learning everything she can at the Buccaneer Resort, where has been a management trainee since this spring.
She plans to return to school to pick up a Masters of Business Administration but has no set a date. She said, "I still have a lot to learn here."
The school she plans to get her MBA from is not just any old school — it's in Switzerland.
She still does recreational swimming on St. Croix, but, in her words, she has gone "over to the other side."
Currently, Misty coaches youngsters at the Dolphin Swim Club and said that she really enjoys coaching and is pleased to see so much progress in the swimmers just in a couple of months.
In the first week of August she is scheduled to take a half-dozen swimmers from the club to the Dominican Republic to compete in the Central American-Caribbean Championships.
She is excited about the trip and said that she believes it will be a good experience for the V.I. swimmers "getting off the island and getting into competition."
When asked to explain what St. Croix means to her, she said, "I have traded in the black line (on the bottom of a pool) and chlorine for ocean fish and salt water. I love swimming in the ocean."
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