Crawford Humphreys ’18
After years of trying to fulfill his dream of making the Olympics, Davis Tarwater wanted to tell others his story about how he persevered and “stayed golden.”
“We can always choose to be optimistic. We can always choose to invest in ourselves. We can choose to stay golden,” said Tarwater.
Tarwater spoke to members of the Woodberry Forest and Norfolk Academy swimming teams in the Brown Lecture Hall on Woodberry’s campus on the night of Friday, December 1st. The two teams engaged in a training session and a swim meet the following day.
Tarwater told the swimmers that defining success by more than just a result can help them achieve their goals in and out of the pool.
Tarwater was a natural-born swimmer who swam at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At the age of 18, he was invited to his first Olympics trials, but failed to qualify for a spot on the American Olympic team.
Tarwater would get invited to another Olympic trials and would qualify for the 2012 Olympics, earning a spot on the freestyle relay team. Tarwater would go on to win the gold medal after swimming for the United States in the preliminary heat of the relay race.
However, that medal was not as important to Tarwater as the fact that he was able to adapt and redefine himself in order to meet his goals.
Tarwater now works in the consulting business and is an entrepreneur. He travels around the country sharing his story, and urges others to reconsider their definition of success.