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Chris Chase

Trapped in the Closet: 'I'm a friend of Mike Barrowman' t-shirt

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Mike Barrowman won a gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. And, according to a pit-stained t-shirt I found this morning in the nether regions of my closet, Mike Barrowman and I are friends. The t-shirt might be lying though.

I've never met Mike Barrowman, unless you count the time I got his autograph at a pre-Olympics rally in 1992 (the same year I last ironed that shirt, apparently).

Barrowman and I grew up in the same town, Potomac, MD (albeit 13 years apart). Him making the Olympics was a big deal, especially to young swimmers like me and my sister. To celebrate this we, along with many of our Tallyho swim team teammates, turned out to a mall parking lot to see Barrowman off to Barcelona. It was an especially great day because my mom took us to Popeye's afterwards.

There was another rally when Barrowman returned with his gold medal, which is where I acquired the lovely shirt you see above. It's tough to appreciate the fine craftsmanship from a photograph, but I assure you that the shirt is 100% cotton. (No Olympian worth his salt would ever have his name on a poly-blend.) Also, notice the Hypercolor-inspired text. Even gold medalists aren't immune to the allure of fads, I guess.

Nor are they immune to spelling errors. Barrowman swam the "breaststroke" not the "breastroke".

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