"What the taught me about working together, accepting each other, and getting along goes way beyond the classroom," says Kim, an All-American in the 400-yard inndividual medley his senior year.

The celebration culminated with an April 22 dinner at Philips gym attended by 175 former and current Oberlin athletes, plus family and close friends.

Master of ceremonies and Division III national diving champion Sean Fri '88 told current swimmers, "You have no idea how much this man is going to mean to you."

Several speakers recalled the way Michaels urged them to give their maximum, recognize their limits, and savor their peak performances.

That philosophy was culled from his own experience. Michaels competed in the 100-meter backstroke in the 1964 Olympic Trials, but fell well short of making the U.S. team. His pity realism, combined with comedic timing, helped athletes understand when they'd gotten everything they could out of themselves.

"He told me, 'You swim faster than 97 percent of the people in the world. You're just slower than the other 3 percent,'" said Hugh Henry '88, a teacher in Bangor, Maine.

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