Lifestyle

Two swimmers take a deep breath together

Michael Theron McVicker and Ian Poris Slater met on the Brown University campus in 2008 while both were visiting high school seniors on a swim team recruitment trip.

Mr. McVicker of Larchmont, NY, had been open about being gay in his high school. “A core memory was that he’s a really cool, handsome, normal guy,” said Mr. Slater, who grew up in the Baltimore area and was still figuring out his sexuality.

He hadn’t figured it out when they both started out as students at Brown, where they quickly became best friends, in large part because their lives revolved around the swim team in and out of the pool. Except on Sundays, training was from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; an hour-long workout at the gym at 3 p.m.; and then another two hours back in the pool until 6pm

Mr. Slater spent so much time together and soon developed a crush on Mr. McVicker. Still, during a trip they took to New York for New Year’s Eve in December 2010, he resisted telling Mr. McVicker how romantic it felt to be walking with him through the confetti-covered streets of Times Square at 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day walk

The following March, after Mr. Slater came out, his feelings for Mr. McVicker came out as the swim season ended.

“I had a messy pent-up energy to tell Mike I wanted to be with him,” Mr. Slater said.

They then had an “affair,” as Mr. McVicker put it, which he said was “fun.” But before he went to Bologna, Italy, for a semester abroad that summer, Mr. McVicker put the brakes on their romance.

“I thought we had such a good friendship,” said Mr. McVicker, who encouraged Mr. Slater to date others. “I didn’t want to ruin it.”

While Mr. McVicker was in Italy, Mr. Slater was studying Arabic at Columbia University and began dating someone else. “I was happy for him at first,” Mr. McVicker said, but eventually he realized, “Wait, I don’t want Ian to date that other person,” as he put it.

They began dating seriously at the end of their junior year at Brown, but kept their relationship under wraps as seniors, both said, because they’d risen to become co-captains of the swim team and wanted to avoid distractions.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

Ten days after graduating in 2013, Mr. McVicker began an internship as a project manager at Sciame, a New York City construction company. That fall, after Mr. Slater began an internship as a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in New York, the couple moved to the Financial District.

Mr. Slater, 30, is now a residential real estate broker and president of the Slater team at Compass, a New York real estate firm. Mr. McVicker, 31, is a developer who buys and renovates residential properties in Rhode Island.

In 2015 they adopted Stella, a rescue dog from Alabama, and two years later they moved to the Upper East Side to be near Central Park for her sake. In January 2020, they moved into their dream fireplace apartment in Greenwich Village, where Mr. McVicker, who until then worked full-time on Rhode Island real estate, spent long weekends.

When the pandemic hit, Mr. Slater joined Mr. McVicker in Rhode Island. After living in a house belonging to Mr. McVicker’s parents in Newport, they moved into an apartment in Providence, in a historic house where Mr. McVicker was working.

In August 2020, Mr. Slater proposed on a lake at Twin Farms, a resort in Barnard, Vt. Sensing it was coming, Mr. McVicker recalled telling him, “Don’t you dare get on one knee.” A month later, they bought a run-down house in Newport, which they renovated and made into their second home made.

The two were married on March 19 at the Bowery Hotel in New York, in front of 176 guests who provided their RSVPs with vaccination certificates as requested. Nicholas Vitrano, a college friend of the couple who became a Universal Life Minister for the occasion, officiated at the ceremony, which was also attended by Mr. Slater’s 96-year-old maternal grandmother, Florence Poris.

“We didn’t have any visions where we dreamed of a wedding,” said Mr. Slater. “But it was very important to have a great party with our friends and family and we definitely did.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/style/ian-slater-michael-mcvicker-wedding.html Two swimmers take a deep breath together

Luke Plunkett

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