HAVANA -- Retirement was the one word Dan Veatch didn't want to say. But after finishing second in the men's 200-meter backstroke swimming final at the Pan American Games last night, the 26-year-old native of Potomac, Md., sounded like a man ready to get on with the rest of his life.
"It will be a difficult decision, one that I will have to make in the next two or three weeks," he said. "It may be time for me to think about it. This is a step backward for me."
Veatch, a 1988 Olympian who has raced internationally for nine years, finished second in 2 minutes, 1.14 seconds. Winning the race in 2:01.07 was Rogerio Romero, an 18-year-old from Brazil who will attend the University of Michigan in the fall.
"There are a lot of 200-meter back strokers in the U.S.," said Veatch, who trains in Boca Raton, Fla. "It may be time to pass on the baton."
Veatch works as a substitute teacher in economics at a private school. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 1992.