HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Dan D’Addona is a fixture in Holland sports.
The Holland Sentinel sports editor has been covering the journeys of local athletes for 17 years. In recent years, he’s been kept busy by a slew of world-class swimmers produced along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
“There’s been kids making the Olympic swim trials from Holland for 20-plus years,” D’Addona said. “And we have Chris DeJong miss by a few hundredths of a second. He kind of ushered in a new level.”
He’s been following swimmers to big meets to chronicle their careers. He was there in Indianapolis when Courtney Bartholomew made world headlines in the 2015 Dule in the Pool.
“I was right on the edge of the pool deck when she broke the American record on the short course in the Duel at the Pool, which is like the Ryder Cup for swimming, and then was on the world record medley relay,” D’Addona said. “It was amazing to see someone from Holland in a two-day period set an American and a world record.”
The more meets he covered, the more people at Swimming World magazine noticed.
“Outside of trials, there’s really not that much media at swim meets that aren’t swimming-based media,” D’Addona explained. “So at the trials in 2016, I was still covering the trials for the Holland Sentinel and they offered me a job after that. They’re like, ‘Hey, Dan’s at all these meets, we already know what he does, we already know he knows what he’s doing.'”
He jumped at the opportunity and is now the managing editor for Swimming World.
“It’s been amazing getting a front row seat to do that stuff, and I also get to shoot some pictures too,” he said.
Michael Phelps, the American swimming powerhouse with 28 Olympic medals to his name, isn’t at the Olympic trials this time after retiring, but D’Addona says Team USA is still in great shape heading into Tokyo, thanks in big part to the emergence of Caeleb Dressel of Florida.
“He’s going to do a lot of things people don’t see every day, especially being a sprinter,” D’Addona said. “He was breaking barriers nobody thought possible. I’ll be honest, he was fast enough twice, he was so fast that he broke Swimming World’s website. Our website went down because we had so much traffic, because he was so fast.”