Friday, August 15, 2008

From Baltimore to Beijing

Gold medalist swimmer Erik Vendt supports Ron Paul.

Tracking Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff, Carmelo Anthony and all things Olympics

Swimming with the 'big guys'


Vendt and Phelps are an interesting yin and yang as training partners. Vendt is a voracious reader, a student of history, an outdoors enthusiast and a political junkie. He and Bowman traded friendly barbs during the build-up to the New Hampshire primary, with Bowman supporting John McCain and Vendt supporting Ron Paul.

"Ron Paul is my guy," said Vendt, who describes himself as a libertarian ideologically. "It's really frustrating the way the mainstream media just ignored him and acted like he was a fringe candidate without doing any research at all. I think he's really what the country needs. ... I'm definitely not a fan of the huge tentacle-like arms of the federal government invading everything in our lives."

Vendt said he's almost been able to convince Phelps to join the Paul Revolution.

"Michael is a big online poker guy, and that's one of Paul's issues, legalizing online gambling," Vendt said.

Vendt says he could see himself possibly getting involved in politics someday.

"People joke around and talk about running for office, and I say 'OK, if you do, I'll run your campaign," Vendt said. "But it's definitely something I'm interested in."