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The Real Cost of Being an Olympic Swimmer

By Lewis Braham - 2012-07-31T21:51:06Z

Photograph by Gerald Holubowicz/laif/Redux

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Swimming lessons are considered part of a basic safety regimen for children in some parts of the country, such as Houston, where pools abound. "The Red Cross offers classes to teach them as early as 6 months to fall on their backs when they roll into the pool," says Allison Beebe, head coach at First Colony Swim Team in Sugar Land, Texas. The lessons can cost as little as $20 per class in some areas. First Colony offers two-week programs for children as young as 3 for $125. Phelps started swimming at 7, following in the footsteps of older sisters Hillary and Whitney.