In a luxurious, cliff-hanging mansion in the Oakland hills, the concept of Spartan Olympian training is taking a severe beating.
Four swimmers, Cal graduates, have lived here for a year while training for the Olympics. Their temporary home has 5,000 square feet, six bedrooms, and a living room in which you could play badminton. We know this because they have.
They call their place The Mansh. A family of four could live on the stairway that leads from the front door to the living room. The windows offer a panoramic view of the world that these four have set out to conquer.
The four are freestyle sprinters Nathan Adrian, Will Copeland and Graeme Moore, and breaststroke sprinter Sean Mahoney. Moore has sewn up a berth on the South African team. The three Americans will take their shots at the U.S. Trials next month.
They share what could be one of the great bachelor pads of all time, had they not turned it into more of a hermitage. A very hip, non-sectarian monastery.
"My friends want to know why we don't have more parties," says Moore.
More? They don't have any parties.
"Just gatherings," Moore says.
They stumbled upon this place, the perfect fortress of focus, far from the madding crowd of colorful downtown Berkeley.
It started as a joke. They were looking for a house to share and Mahoney found a mansion for rent on Craigslist. It was built in the area torched by the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm. For a laugh, Mahoney sent the photos to his three pals.
Just for fun they checked it out. To their shock, the rent was affordable, especially when they added Cal pole vaulters Allison Stokke and Theresa Raub
to the mix. This pleased the landlord, who figured with two women aboard, the boys would be less likely to go all Oscar Madison on the place.
They moved in a year ago, took off their shoes and had a sliding fest on the living room's basketball-court-sized floor. The owner left behind four flat-screen TVs, a booming stereo system and twice-a-month maid service.
Ask the boys who washes the massive picture windows and you are met with a collective blank (glazed? paned?) expression. They have never given it a thought.
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