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Scott Weltz celebrates with Eric Shanteau, left, after winning the men's 200-meter breaststroke final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
San Jose's Scott Weltz stunned just about everyone at the U.S. swimming Olympic trials last month when he won the 200m breast stroke, everyone except maybe the two people who know him best. His parents, Don and Rhonda Weltz.
They were in the stands in Omaha during the his final race. "I'm going, 'swim your race, swim your race,'" Rhonda recalled.
And swim he did. In the final 20 meters, Scott turned in on in the final 20 meters, pushing his way from 6th to 1st, winning the race.
"I was yelling and saying, 'he's going to win, he's going to win,' and it was probably one of the most exciting races I've seen him swim," his dad Don said.
Scott's mom Rhonda says she was a nervous wreck watching it in person. "When he touched the wall first, I became unglued. I was in tears, I was crying. The lady behind me went and got me a margarita to calm me down."
Scott's Olympic moment almost didn't happen, however. "He didn't know what he wanted to do so he was just treading water so to speak," Don said. "He even tried selling cars."
But Scott wasn't meant to sell cars. He was meant to swim. At U.C. Davis, Scott was a standout in the pool, breaking records and winning medal after medal. It's a school not known for it's swimming program. In fact, in 2010, the same year Scott graduated, Davis dropped its swim program.
He also stuck with his coach. "He had a good coach and that's probably the best thing UC Davis did for him," Don said.
He also had a good coach at Bellarmine with Larry Rogers, who remembers Scott as dedicated and disciplined, but not necessarily Olympic material like another Bellarmine alum, Pablo Morales. "You just didn't know he was going to be an Olympian. You knew he was going to be good, You knew he was going to work and get everything out of his body he could get, but betting on an Olympian? No," Rogers said.
Now that Scott proved himself at the trials, Rogers says there's no telling what Scott can do. "Scott's story is still unwritten and it's sort of neat. It's what's neat about sports, guys like that."