Attorneys Recall Olympic Experiences

, The Legal Intelligencer

With the world's eyes no longer focused on Beijing for the Summer Olympics, a few lawyers are remembering their own past brushes with Olympic glory. For some, it meant trading jury trials for team tryouts and for others, ditching the briefcase for the Olympic torch.

But for Barley Snyder's Whitney Metzler Krosse, it meant going for gold.

At the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Krosse competed with the U.S. women's swim team. U.S. swimming took home 26 medals that year, including 13 gold. Although Krosse herself did not leave wearing a medal, she finished eighth in the world in the women's 400-meter individual medley.

She was 18 at the time.

Since the 1996 games, Krosse has transitioned from swimmer to litigator. She graduated from the University of Florida, where she swam for two years before a shoulder surgery ended her career in the pool. In 2000, she embarked on a new career, entering Pace University School of Law in White Plains, N.Y.

According to Krosse, now an associate in Barley Snyder's litigation department, her law career has been a long time coming.

"I knew back when I was 18 that I probably wanted to be an attorney," Krosse said. At the time, however, Olympic preparations demanded her full attention.

Thomas More Holland, a Philadelphia trial lawyer, understands the dedication needed to make an Olympic team. In 1980, he competed for a spot on the men's freestyle wrestling squad at the final-round tournament in Madison, Wis. Holland said he was literally within arm's reach of making the U.S. team.

"I made it to the final tournament, but I didn't make it to the closed-door trials of eight to 10 people," he explained.

As global politics would have it, even if Holland had made the 1980 team, he still would have missed the games. By the time trials were held, President Jimmy Carter had already announced that the United States would not send any athletes to the Moscow-hosted Olympics.