Fort Hood’s very own Capt. Thomas Inwood with 3rd Cavalry Regiment, has been selected to participate in the 7th International Military Sports Council, or CISM World Games, in Wuhan, China, Oct. 18-27.
Inwood has been a swimmer for most of his life. He began in Ohio where it became clear that he would have a future in swimming. He attended the University of Virginia on a swimming scholarship and had a very successful college career. While at college his team were the ACC champions four times and he was a two-time Olympic trials qualifier.
For Inwood, swimming is a good way for him to relax and work out
“I enjoy working out in general, but I love swimming because it is so refreshing. I also love it because it’s really peaceful and relaxing because it’s just you and the water,” Inwood said. “Especially swimming outdoors like this on a nice morning. There’s nothing better than that seeing the sunrise while you’re working out.”
Though he has always wanted to represent the U.S. in competition, he never imagined it would be like this. He was thrilled when he found out he made the team.
“It’s always been my dream to represent the U.S. in any capacity. I just never thought it would be in a capacity like this or at 29 years old,” Inwood said.
The CISM World Games kicked off in 1995 and is very similar to the Olympics. It’s held every four years and has an opening and closing ceremony.
“China has been preparing for it for the past three and a half years so, based on watching the Beijing Olympics and the way China prepared for that and their opening ceremony, I mean it’s going to be pretty spectacular,” Inwood said.
This is the first time that the U.S. Armed Forces has fielded a swim team in the World Games. Inwood is the sole Army representative on a 14-member team that is mostly made of swimmers from the Air Force and Navy. Since it is new, there aren’t standard procedures in place yet for qualifying, besides time standards.
“You would have to enter a swim meet either through USA Swimming or U.S. Masters Swimming. Those are the two governing bodies of swimming. If you meet the qualifying times you could put in an application,” Inwood said. “There were only, I think, three qualifiers – myself, an air force swimmer and a naval cadet, who just graduated this past spring that actually made the qualifying time standards. They took additional swimmers based on their previous or historical accolades, having previously swam at Air Force Academy or Naval Academy.”
Inwood said that his unit has been supportive, allowing him to practice swimming instead of going to physical training formation every morning.
“I come to the pool at five in the morning, so I’ve been swimming about two and half hours a day five to six times a week,” Inwood said.
Inwood believes the most challenging thing for him is getting back into the groove of things and controlling his nerves on race day.
“For me, there’s definitely going to be an aspect of really coming back to it after a long time away, but it is definitely like riding a bike,” Inwood said. “Obviously, just trying to control your nerves a little bit. It’s probably going to be super exciting a lot of adrenaline going there for the first couple of races.”
It is encouraging to know that with enough persistence and hard work goals can become a reality, even if it is in an unexpected way.
There is no doubt that Capt.Inwood will do a great job representing the U.S. in China in October.