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by Author Unknown

May 23, 2001

Enjoying Masters swimming in Florida

Craig Burns had an extraordinary experience in college swimming and coaching at the University of Utah that has left an indelible mark. Coach Don Reddish arranged Christmas trips, training in exotic places and putting on swimming and water polo clinics for local people. These trips included Japan, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Kenya and Tanzania. Moved by this taste of exotica and the good life, he moved to the clear waters of the Caribbean in his mid 20s working for a large hotel chain. For the next fifteen years he lived in the Bahamas, Bonaire, Cayman Brac, St. Croix, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Returning to the real world of South Florida (?) Craig started Masters swimming under coach Lee Kingsbury in 1993. At times being the slowest and oldest person in the pool his competitive juices began to flow. Craig eventually "graduated" to the Hall of Fame Pool to enjoy the fellowship of Fred Mayer, Jorge Gonzalez, Mike Koonin, Doug Buchan and the other great Masters swimmers who train there.

His normal "grizzly" appearance is eliminated only at nationals. In his first event at his first nationals (Tempe 1994), the 100 butterfly, he found his college roommate of four years, Clifford Johnson, on the block next to him. Only through U.S. Masters Swimming could a reunion like that occur.

Craig is a sales representative in the Caribbean (Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, Belize and the Bay Islands) for SCUBA diving manufacturers and tourist trade suppliers.