Outside magazine, April 1997
Samson, a two-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback that claims Garland as his master, might be the main beneficiary of the athlete's dedication to his sport. Garland practices 20 hours a week in the waves at Zuma Beach, amid seals and dolphins, which leaves Samson plenty of time to recreate in his favorite hangout, nearby El Matador dog park. "He's a big seagull chaser," says Garland. The Maryland native learned to kayak at the UCLA Marine Aquatic Center, which is among the things he'll miss when he hies to San Francisco later this month. No word on what Samson will be nostalgic about. Paddling jacket, $245, by Tommy Hilfiger; Polarfleece tights, $68, by Timberland; water-sport sandals, $50, by Nike.
Julie Riffe, San Clemente, Spearfisher
It's silvery sundown, and 20 surfers at Swami's Beach in Encinitas await the day's last waves. Though things look idyllic, the beach is among those in San Diego County that suffered 700 pollution-related closures last year; thus it's an unfortunately familiar scene for the members of Surfrider, an environmental group that describes its mission as "CPR for the shoreline." Flynn, the group's executive director, has seen such despoilation before, and up close. "I was paddling out to surf my favorite spot in North Baja when I noticed the surface of the water was covered in bubbles," he says of a ride eight years ago. "I was in the middle of a fresh raw-sewage spill. I thought, man, I've got to do something." Today, thanks to Flynn's focused efforts, the grassroots organization has 25,000 members in 34 nationwide chapters, overseen by chapter and programs director Mazzarella, and a budget of $650,000. Another devoted group is Heal the Bay, which boasts pro beach volleyball standout Masakayan on its board of directors. The three consider themselves not only protectors of the sea, but also harbingers of a sort. As Mazzarella says, "Swimmers and surfers are the canaries in the coal mines." On Liz: sleeveless sweater, $24, and bikini, $22, both by The Gap. On Ed: striped T-shirt, $25, by Woolrich; floral trunks, $38, by Mossimo; flip-flops, $50, by DKNY. On Pierce: Thermax zip-neck top, $56, by Reebok; nylon surf trunks, $75, by DKNY; sandals, $50, by Birkenstock.
Playing an aspiring Olympian-cum-lifeguard on Baywatch is an unfortunate albatross for a guy hoping to hold his own among real-world jocks. But David Chokachi is actually a pretty fine athlete: a swimmer (this helped him nail the casting pool audition back in 1995), expert skier, snowboarder, accomplished mountain-biker, and devoted boardsailor. All of which keeps him in sharp enough trim to indulge in his real pleasure on Baywatch: performing his own stunts. OK, ding the show's contrived plots, but they've allowed Chokachi to tackle a 65-foot breath-hold dive, jump from a speeding Scarab race boat, and swim against Olympic gold medalist Joe Hudepohl. (Chokachi wore flippers to even up the odds; this is Hollywood, after all). Such adventures make him unique among a cast that prefers not to get mussed, much less sweaty. As he says, "Most people on the show don't like to go into the water." Ribbed polo shirt, $60, by Perry Ellis; flat-front trousers, $48, by Banana Republic; leather sandals, $125, by Cole-Haan; watch by Tag-Heuer.
Not too often does someone move to L.A. for peace and quiet, but that's exactly what Perec did three years ago. "I'm like Michael Jordan in my country," says the Parisienne. "I can't walk down the street without being bothered." And that was before last summer, when her fame quotient vaulted even higher after she captured gold in the 200 and 400 meters--a feat duplicated by Michael Johnson. The Gazelle, as she is known, is hoping to add the 400-meter hurdles and the 800 meters to her repertoire, moves that coach John Smith thinks will lead to even more gold. "She's only just reaching her potential," he says. "I believe she's capable of a lot more yet." A scary thought, given that Perec already owns one of Olympic track's most impressive accomplishments: winning the 400 in consecutive Games, something not even Johnson can claim. And Perec did it without the flashy gold shoes. Cotton-Lycra top, $75, and shorts, $65, both CK by Calvin Klein.
It's a dingy afternoon on the UCLA track and two of the sprinting world's flashier athletes are haggling over their lunch. To Drummond's dismay, his coach has overlooked Chips Ahoy cookies for the training table. "I'm telling you, I should be endorsing them," he says. "They wouldn't even have to pay me. I'd do it for product." Boldon, in turn, wants a Whopper and onion rings. Medalists at the Atlanta Games--Drummond won silver in the 4 x 100 relay and Boldon took bronze in both the 100 and 200 meters--the pair went low-key Hollywood after arriving here in the midnineties. Trinidad-born Boldon has made the scene at the Oscars (with producer-girlfriend Casandra Mills), and Drummond, who started singing gospel back home in Philadelphia, scored a number-one Billboard hit with his group, Kirk Franklin & The Family. Drummond has even mastered the cutting L.A. sound bite, as evidenced by his description of how rival sprinter Carl Lewis fared at the Olympic trials: "Dead butt-naked last." On Ato: cotton-Lycra top, $65, by DKNY. On Jon: running jacket, $78, by Nike.
"My body was falling apart." says former extreme skier Charlie Heggem of the downhill grind. So three years ago he fled Montana for southern California and focused on another passion: mountain biking. The transition--in both location and professional pursuit--has been smooth to the point of California clichë. "There are a whole lot of different people here," Heggem says. "You never know who's going to know somebody, who's going to know somebody else. The whole networking thing." Thus connected, Heggem soon was wooing sponsors, picking up a consultancy with the Eco-Challenge, and setting his sights on the Sydney Olympics. Then there are those plum Hollywood contacts--like the afternoon Heggem was logging some training time when actor Brett Harrelson (Woody's bro) dropped in for a little professional drafting. Heggem didn't mind. "As long as I'm pedaling," he says, "I'm happy." Zip-neck jersey, $89, by Nautica; shorts, $49, by The North Face; gloves, $30, by Pearl Izumi; Slider glasses, $85, by Smith Sport Optics; Ironman watch, $55, by Timex.
Claiming lack of funds, UCLA unceremoniously shuttered its powerhouse water polo program a few years ago, a move akin in popularity to the University of Minnesota melting down its hockey rink for a wading pool. After all, as hole man Jeremy Baxter-Brown says, "If you're going to play ball, California is where you want to be." When the school reinstated the sport, one thing remained unchanged: The vicious rivalry with crosstown USC. Consider it sweet justice then that the schools found themselves in this year's finals, with the youngster Bruins eking out a one-goal victory for their second consecutive NCAA title. And although the team would actually rather discuss snowboards than spikes these days, they appreciate the unlikeliness of their accomplishment. Notes driver Jim Toring, "We went from scratch to a dynasty." On Matt: long-sleeved jersey T-shirt, $55, by DKNY. On Jeremy: Ribbed henley, $70, by DKNY. On Terry: crepe zip-neck top, $48, by The Gap. On Randy: Terry cloth shirt, $92, and flat-front shorts, $39, both by Tommy Hilfiger. On Corbin: ribbed V-neck shirt, $25, by Lee. On Jim: ribbed nylon V-neck top, $85, CK by Calvin Klein; carpenter pants, $38, by Lee.
The patch of California sand outside the front door would seem to be pro beach volleyball's most sacred spot, but ask Hanley and Johnson to name their favorite stop on the tour and the answer comes back...Chicago? "It's almost like they take us for granted around here," says Hanley, citing the low-key, blasë air of the local crowds. But the Laguna Beach natives, ranked second and third on their respective circuits, aren't prepping to hustle off to Chi Town anytime soon--or anywhere else, until the tour widens their world a bit. "There are many places I'd consider moving to," says Johnson. "But I haven't seen them yet." On Adam: V-neck sweater, $28, by The Gap; trousers, $125, Polo by Ralph Lauren; sandals, $20, by Nike. On Linda: Supplex top, $22, by The Gap; pants, $68, by Polo Jeans Co; sandals, $20, by Speedo.
The world of soccer knows who Wynalda is: player of the year in the fledgling U.S. pro league, scorer of the most U.S. World Cup goals (29), an international star. He's catching on back home too, judging by the swarm of kids and grandmothers who cozy up to him at ball-signing events. "Kick hard," jots Wynalda, time after time. The California native plays forward for the San Jose Clash and trains with the U.S. World Cup team in Chula Vista. All of which should keep him near the ocean, but perhaps not near enough. "I'm crazy about anything associated with the beach," says Wynalda. Now if he could only figure out some way to get on the Pro Beach Soccer Tour. Jersey, $55, and trunks, $22, both by Reebok.
Consider it one of the odder couples at the last Olympics: a goateed, wraparound-shade-wearing 22-year-old Valley dude and King Carl XVI Gustaf, sovereign ruler of Sweden. The former was firing arrows through the air--en route to the individual and team gold medals--while the latter observed him with the peevishness of slighted royalty. King Carl was watching his country's best archer get thumped for the gold, while Huish was soon to emerge as the sport's biggest star. Before the closing ceremonies were over, Huish had an international fan club and a slot on the Tonight Show. What he lacks is a place of his own--he lives in Mom and Pop's house on, no kidding, Broken Arrow Street--and an actual practice range. So he improvises, firing from a neighbor's lawn, across the street, through his parents' open garage door, and finally--thunk--to the backyard target. Does Mom mind? "I don't shoot inside the house," Justin says, ever the thoughtful son. "I won't do that." Zip-neck polo, $55, and jersey sweatpants, $60, from Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren; sneakers, $65, by Airwalk. For manufacturer and credit information, please turn to page 170.
Marieke Veltman, Santa Monica, Track and Field