There's something off-putting about a swimmer who trains for the Olympics only during the year of the Games. Add in that he also wears boxing attire on deck, looks like a sleaze, and is the only American I've ever wanted to lose anything and you've got someone most swimmers love to hate.
We're talking about Gary Hall, Jr.
I've been converting my sports tapes (I have 100+ starting from the 2000 Olympics) into DVDs and just got through Day Seven of the 2004 Olympics, wherein Hall swims the 50 free and inexplicably wins the gold out of Lane Two. That race still makes me want something bad to happen to him, so I wandered on over to google.com and typed in "gary hall shark attack" and found what I was looking for:
Olympian Gary Hall, Jr., Sister, Survive Shark Attack -- July 2, 2006
The meat of the story is that his sister, Bebe, gets bit by the shark, it goes and swims around Gary's legs, and then she shoots it in its mouth and it swims away and then the Halls get to the boat and everyone lives happily ever after, except Gary is still Gary so maybe not so much. According to Swimming World Magazine, Gary doesn't do a lot besides tell Bebe to reload the spear.
But then, I clicked on this, which has actual quotes from Gary. He (predictably) gives himself more credit than SWM, saying he punched and kicked at the shark that bit his sister until it went back for her and she shot it.
Either way, Gary's not the one who gets the shark to swim away. His little sister does.
Almost as embarrassing as not making the 2008 Olympic Team. Ohhhhh!