Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In the early part of the most pressure-packed race of his life with a berth at the Olympics at stake, Richard Weinberger took a swipe at his swim cap to remove it.

Off the cap came…but so did his goggles.

Without panic, Weinberger grabbed his goggles and put them quickly back on his head.

But, by the time, his vision was repaired, the entire pack had passed him. “There are a lot of ups and downs in marathon swimming so we train for that,” said Weinberger in an understatement of the weekend to Canada.com. “I knew I would just have to chip away and rely a lot on my training. My race plan didn’t really work out but I knew what I had to do to catch the field.”

And that he did, zooming from dead last in 49th position to 2nd place, only 11 seconds behind the 2008 1500m Olympic champion Ous Mellouli, to realize his Olympic dream.

With that move up the field and his remarkable calm under pressure, Weinberger went from being merely a darkhorse to one of the designated medal contenders at the 2012 London Olympics marathon swim.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association