Doc Counsilman

Doc Counsilman

Making Waves
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/01/2003
Format: DVD
ISBN: 978-0-253-03050-4
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This documentary focuses on the life of revolutionary swimming coach James "Doc" Counsilman, from his youth and military career, to his 33 years with the Indiana University men’s team and his English Channel swim.

In 1959 Counsilman and Hobie Billingsley, the IU diving coach, stood in front of the site that was to become Royer Pool. Although IU had never had more than a mediocre swimming program, Counsilman looked at his friend and declared that they would build a dynasty in that hole. As unlikely as it sounded, those who knew Counsilman believed if it could be done, Doc would do it.

In the years that followed, Counsilman's teams won 20 consecutive Big Ten Championships, six consecutive NCAA Championships, 72 individual NCAA Titles, 272 Big Ten Individual Titles, and 47 Olympic Medals.

Later, at age 58, when Counsilman began experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, he again set out on what most outsiders considered an impossible task—he decided to swim the English Channel, becoming the oldest person to do so at the time.

It was that can-do attitude that Doc carried to every part of his life and that is captured in this program.

Author Bio

WTIU Public Television is licensed through Indiana University and is a member station of PBS.

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