OMAHA, Neb. – Swimmer Cody Miller had a Janet Jackson Moment on Thursday morning and lived to laugh about it.
Moments before stepping onto the block for his heat of the 200-meter breaststroke in the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, Miller did a couple of squats to loosen up and felt the fabric of his skin-tight, Speedo FS3 rip. Straight down the backside.
A swimmer's worst nightmare.
His internal response: "Oh, [expletive]."
Suddenly exposed but ready to swim in the biggest meet of the year, Miller figured he had no choice. Get on the block, moon the CenturyLink Center crowd and swim through the embarrassing wardrobe malfunction.
"I thought, 'screw it,' I was going to go," said Miller, a 20-year-old swimmer at Indiana University. "I was that ready."
But a meet official stepped in and offered Miller a chance to quickly change. While the rest of his heat – including Olympian Eric Shanteau – cooled their heels for a couple minutes, Miller sprinted into the stands to the Indiana team area and executed a "deck change." He wrapped a towel around his waist, wiggled out of the ripped suit and quickly into a different one – right there in front of everyone, with only the towel to provide privacy.
"Now everyone in the world is going to know what 'deck changing' is," Miller quipped.
He scooted back down from the stands to applause and laughter, jumped on the blocks and finished a highly respectable fourth in his heat and 12th overall, securing a spot in Thursday night's semifinals.
"That sets me up really well for a good swim tonight," Miller said. Provided the suit stays intact.
Funny thing is, this isn't the first time Miller has had a suit rip this year before a race. It happened in the 200m breaststroke at the Big Ten championships, when it ripped on the block. That time, he just swam with it.
"I like [the FS3]," Miller said. "It just rips."
Given the solid swim, Miller could at least laugh afterward.
"Cool, people are going to know my name now," he said. "I'm going to have a lot of text messages."
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