"I'm not very coordinated at all," says Carly Piper, 22 years old, and a gold medalist in the 800 meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Games in Athens. On land, that is, prompting her friends and family to call her a "fish out of water" when she's on the basketball court.
The pool, though, is another story. In 2005, she won her first national title in the 400 meter freestyle and placed seventh in the 200 meter and 800 meter freestyle competitions at the World Championship Trials. In 2003, she won gold in the 800 meter freestyle relay at the Pan American Games. And the gold medal in Athens in 2004 happened to be a 17-year-old-world-record-breaking win. In addition to her gold medal, Carly is very proud of her University of Wisconsin team that placed in the Top 10 at the NCAA Championships, a first in the history of the team.
"Being in Athens was one of the best experiences I've ever had, it really made me grow," says Carly. "It was a little intimidating, but I figured that if I made it that far, there was a reason...and I calmed down and just did it." Having her teammates there helped too: the 800 meter relay team consists of four athletes, who each swim 200 meters. "I love the competition and trying to get your hand to the wall first," she says.
Carly's parents were Shaklee Distributors when she was young, so she has used Shaklee nutritional products for years. Today she takes Vita-Lea®, Sustained Release Vita-C® and Super Cal Mag Plus. "It is important for me to take vitamins daily so that my body stays healthy and I can continue to train at the rate that I do," says Carly. "If helping my body stay well is as easy as taking vitamins, that's what I'll continue to do!" Carly credits Shaklee vitamins for helping her to achieve a level of health that puts her at the top of the large Wisconsin swim team. During training and competition, Carly uses Performance® Maximum Endurance Sports Drink and Carbo-Crunch® Snack Bars to help her muscles recover and replace depleted nutrients. And, to keep her face hydrated after long hours in a chlorinated pool, Carly depends on products from the Enfuselle® skin care line.
She fits training in around class work, swimming four hours a day, four days a week, plus weightlifting two days a week. In addition to competing, Carly is working on a Zoology degree and hopes to one day work with animals, possibly as a veterinary technician.
Carly definitely has her eye on the 2008 Games in Beijing. In the short term, she will be competing in the Short Course World Championships in China in April and the U.S. National Team Trials in August - and she will surely bring her Shaklee supplements along.