Swimmer Profile: Christine Holman, MAC

by Mary Craddock Hoffman

At four months old Christine lost her hearing to meningococcal meningitis. Although this condition has made going off the blocks a little more challenging, it has not prevented her from obtaining a stellar swimming career. Christine began swimming at age 3 and competing at age 6. She swam for the Gastonia YMCA until Ashbrook High School attracted her talents. After one year on a swimming scholarship at ECU Greenville, she reached the Junior and Senior Nationals and began training at the Olympic training Center in Colorado Springs.

In 1981 she competed in the Deaf Olympics in Germany and brought home a gold, four silvers and one bronze. Some of her times included 1:10 for the 100m bk, 2:25 for the 200m br, 1:01.1 for the 100m fr, 2:08 for the 200m fr, and 4:49 for the 400m fr (all long course). After medaling with two golds, three silvers and one bronze in the 1985 Los Angeles Deaf Olympics she had knee surgery and stopped swimming for several years. During this absence from competition she began coaching swimmers for the Special Olympics.

Christine began swimming for MAC in 1990. Her workouts include intervals every day with lighter intensity swims on the weekends and weight training three days a week. Her favorite stroke is the backstroke but she also enjoys swimming the other strokes. Her impeccable form could be attributed to her work with Olympic Gold Medalist Melvin Stuart of Charlotte.

While Holman was in the 25-29 age group she held several state records including all the backstroke events for short course meters and yards. She also made the short course meters and yards USMS Top Ten lists. Christine repeated this pattern once she entered the 30-34 bracket. At 31 she has again added a top ten ranking to her many 30-34 state records. For the 1995 USMS Short Course Meters Top Ten she earned second in the 100m free; fourth in the 50m free; fifth in the 50m, 100m and 200m back; tenth in the 100 and 200m IM.

Christine works as a Proof and Coder for a bank and is a Special Olympics Coach for the Charlotte Metro Tigers. She recently married Eric Vess, also a swimmer and coach. When Eric proposed he carried her into the back yard pool and asked her, 'Swim with me forever?'

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Date 01/28/97
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