Our Story

A unique perspective on the sport of swimming from the past, present and future

In the short span of a decade, the town of Middletown, New Jersey, produces two Olympians (2000 and 2012), both unlikely athletic superstars, and both in the sport of swimming.

Tom Wilkens, a retired swimmer now working in the insurance industry, and Connor Jaeger, a recent college graduate with hopes of making a run at another Olympics, both sacrifice multiple years of their lives after graduating college to the sport of swimming and the hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games. Wilkens, now coaching part-time at the YMCA he grew up swimming at, and Jaeger, still pursuing athletic endeavors, both share a strong appreciation for the sport they chose and relish the opportunity to chase their full potential.

Wilkens, an average swimmer in high school, improbably rises to become one of the top swimmers in the country by the end of his senior year at Stanford. In the years building up to the 2000 Olympic Trials, Wilkens encounters both the exhilarating highs and devastating lows that nearly all elite level swimmers are familiar with, culminating with him securing a spot on the 2000 US Olympic team.

Jaeger, also an average swimmer in high school, enjoys a similarly surprising rise to becoming one of the top swimmers in the US by the end of his career at the University of Michigan. After unexpectedly qualifying for the Olympics in 2012, Jaeger goes on to place 6th in the 1500m freestyle in London, and has not lost the event to an American since that time. In 2013, Jaeger continues to lead his collegiate team as their captain, before graduating and turning professional. The plight of a professional swimmer striving to qualify for a second Olympics is in full view within Jaeger's day-to-day life, as he attends graduate school and networks with the hopes of setting up a job for his post-swimming career, all the while training for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

The Water Is My Sky offers a unique glimpse into the world of elite competitive swimming as never before seen on film. It seeks to bring to light the intense passion demonstrated by its athletes in addition to the unforgiving nature of the sport itself.

Crew