Seaman began his track career as a miler on his high school team. His coach, however, soon realized he could score more points for the team by excelling at the race walk event. As a junior in high school, Seaman initially disliked the idea of race walking, but grew more fond of it as he became more successful.
The summer after his senior year, Seaman won the Junior National title. Unfortunately, however, his time did not qualify him for the World Junior Championships, and instead the 2 nd-place National finisher Philip Dunn made the cut. Refusing to let this setback slow him down, Seaman answered Dunn’s performance with one of his own, breaking the long-standing Junior 10K record set by Tim Lewis while walking 44:25 on the road a few months later.
Success followed Seaman to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he set three more Junior National records. Returning to the Junior Nationals after his freshman year, he won, walking faster than the qualifying time standard for the World Junior Championships. Unfortunately for Seaman, they were not held that year. Instead, Seaman raced at the Junior Pan American Games, where he finished 5th—no small task with the likes of future Olympic Gold Medallist Jefferson Perez atop the podium.
While on a college scholarship, Seaman became the first four-time NAIA race walk champion. Earning a degree in political science, he put his financial pursuits on hold to focus on his Olympic quest. He moved to Georgia, where his hard work under coach Bhodan Bulakowski cut more than five minutes off his 20K time within one year. With financial support limited, Seaman ate peanut butter and jelly for both lunch and dinner while he trained. Unfortunately, the sacrifice was not enough to make the 1996 Olympic Team. But Seaman had caught Olympic fever.
Recognizing the benefits provided by a training group, Seaman and training partner Andrew Hermann spearheaded the formation of the ARCO Olympic Training Center Residency Program. Seaman moved to Southern California to train at the Center while pursuing his Master’s degree in International Relations.
In October 1998, Seaman had surgery to solve lower abdominal pain that had plagued him for sixteen months. While the surgery at first seemed successful, after eleven months the symptoms returned. In November 1999 Seaman again had surgery in Milwaukee, where Dr. Richard Cattey discovered five hernias in his lower abdomen. With his health problems finally behind him and new coach Enrique Pena in residence at ARCO, Seaman reached his Olympic dreams in 2000 when he won the U.S. Olympic Trials, turning in a meet-record performance.
After competing in the Olympics, Seaman returned to the U.S. to marry Leticia Felix Reyna, whom he had met at Mexican Walk Week in 1997.
Currently, Seaman is working towards his second Olympic berth. To keep up on the latest Seaman happenings, check out his web site at http://www.TimSeaman.com.