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Olympic Champ Krayzelburg Can't Stand Watching Swimming

Tue Apr 9, 1:54 PM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. triple Olympic gold medallist Lenny Krayzelburg says American swimmers get little recognition and the sport is unpopular in their country.

"Swimming is not popular in America. It doesn't make any money," Krayzelburg was quoted as saying in Tuesday's edition of Russian daily Izvestia.

"The U.S. national championships are held in empty arenas, just like in Russia, if you don't count friends and relatives."

Krayzelburg was born in Ukraine but moved with his family to the United States at the age of 12.

He underwent shoulder surgery last year but did some commentating for television at the Moscow world short-course championships which ended Sunday.

Asked if he had any influence in the American sporting community, Krayzelburg, who won gold in the 100 and 200 meters backstroke and medley relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics , replied: "What makes you think that?

"I am a triple Olympic champion, but only in swimming, and swimming in America is not the type of sport in which people pay attention to those who compete in it.

"In America, they pay attention only to those who can fill 20,000-seat arenas to capacity."

"In America, only a handful of swimmers can make a living by doing what they do. All the others have to have other jobs.

"But I think I make more money than anyone else in swimming in America."

Krayzelburg says he wants to stay in the sport until the 2004 Olympics in Athens and then turn to television journalism.

"I want to become a TV sports journalist and I have already done some work for small cable companies in America," he said.

"But I don't want to become a swimming commentator. Anything else, but not swimming," he added. "I don't like watching swimming. It's very boring.

"Maybe some finals are a bit interesting but the rest is completely rubbish."

Article originally located at Yahoo! News

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