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Almost a year and a half after the Athens Olympics, Vered Borochovsky returned earlier this week to the pool, well away from the media spotlight. She did so at the Israel Goldstein Youth Village pool in Jerusalem without the media being there to report her return.

"Vered asked for her return to be quiet; she didn't want to make a splash," said Israel Swimming Association chair Noam Zvi, who played a part in the return of the swimmer - a big fish in the Israeli pool for four years.

Borochovsky competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when she was only 16 and in the two years that followed she established herself as a rising star in the 50 and 100 meters butterfly.

But in 2002 after reaching two European Championship finals, her career started to go sink. Borochovsky tried training at the Wingate Institute, she returned to Ashdod to her childhood coach Vladimir Sofer and went as far as Australia but returned after failing to acclimatize. As she prepared for the 2004 Athens Olympics, she again returned to Ashdod, but the games were a flop for her and she failed to even make a single semifinal.

After Athens, Borochovsky announced she was taking a break. She coached kids, stayed away from tournaments, even as a spectator, and from time to time toyed with the idea of going to college overseas. A few months ago she contacted Zvi and asked him for help.

"I suggested she make a comeback in Israel," says Zvi. "She decided to swim at the Center for Excellence at the Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem, because she is a great admirer of its coach Leonid Shaichat who coached her in the Israel squad and also because the leading butterfly swimmers in Israel train there and can help her.

"The fact she has been out of the pool for a while shouldn't be detrimental. A lot of swimmers have taken time off and come back. Michael Klim took a break, so did Yoav Gat and even Ian Thorpe took a year off."