Moving Around, but Still Swimming
Danielle Ogier did not start swimming Masters until 1990, but has seven long distance and one pool All-Stars recognitions from 1990 to 2010. She has 12 long distance and 19 pool All-American honors with multiple first place finishes. She won the David Yorzyk Memorial Award in 1999, presented annually to the swimmer who performs the most outstanding 400-yard individual medley at the Short Course National Championships. Below is Danielle's story in his own words:
I started competitive swimming at age 11, year 1963, in Long Beach, Calif., for the AAU team Lakewood Aquatic Club under Coach Jim Montrella.
Because my Dad was in the Navy, we moved every three years. We moved from Long Beach to Houston, Texas in September 1966. The rest of my family actually moved in June 1966. My Mom, 12 poodles (yes 12!) and I stayed in Long Beach until the end of the 1966 summer swimming season. My Mom and I then drove to Houston with all 12 poodles! This was the hardest move for me. My Dad was not happy with the Navy to move our family to Houston at this time for many reasons, but primarily because I would be a new kid in town for my freshman year of high school.
My bike was my major mode of transportation when swimming in California. I would ride everywhere—to workouts, morning and afternoons, and even ride into town to the local swim shop to buy a new swimsuit after saving my pennies. In the winter when days were shorter and night came sooner, I bummed a ride with the Shaws. I was friends with Trina Shaw who was the fast swimmer Tim Shaw's older sister.
My Dad found a house in Houston that was walking distance to good schools and good swim programs. So we lived in Spring Valley part of Houston and swam for the AAU team Dads Club under Coach Richard Quick from September 1966 until September 1968.
My Father Herbert Leakin Ogier, Jr, CMDR, Naval Academy Graduate and Naval Academy Swimming Team record holder, taught my two brothers and me how to swim in our backyard above ground pool in Norfolk, Va.
In late 1989, I started swimming laps in the local Ballys Fitness Center in Houston, first dabbling in triathlons. I had no idea about Masters swimming. Then after five triathlons and very tight calves, decided swimming was best for me and also cooler (if you know about the Houston summers). I found a local swimming program at the Post Oak YMCA in Houston and also at the Dads Club YMCA.
By the way...The Dads Club was a YMCA until the major freeway widening program took the half of the land for the Y. The Y had been renamed Westside YMCA, and during the freeway expansion program, acquired and moved farther north and west. The Dads Club age group team parents and board managed to keep the Dads Club up and running, eventually buying it back from the Y.
So what happened between 1968 and 1989? First of all I attended college at UT at Austin receiving a BBA in accounting. Two years later I obtained a CPA license. I worked in the Oil and Gas Industry in Houston after college during the good ole days... huge free buffets, work managers picking up huge tabs during happy hours, etc.
During 1968 to 1989, I spent my time, non-partying time, playing racquetball, lifting weights, playing rugby, jogging, playing in company softball leagues, snow skiing and lots of water skiing. Our family had a house on the San Jacinto River in the Houston area. Every weekend we would load up the boat, get lots of fuel and groceries and head to the "River House" where we would drink, drink, drink and ski, ski, ski.
Sometimes we would even ski during the week after work. Someone once commented that I could have been a tournament water skier. Oh well, I thought maybe a discus thrower or sumo wrestler might be well suited for me also.
So back to Masters swimming in 1990 which has changed my life for the better. It is so much fun to have friends all around the world.