Eva Fabian Posts Open Letter About Wetsuit Use at FINA Open Water World Cup

Photo Courtesy: Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports Images

On the eve of the FINA Open Water World Cup stop in Setubal, Portugal, American Eva Fabian posted an open letter to her Facebook page regarding the potential use of wetsuits in the 10k race.

Fabian wrote about some of the core issues related to the new FINA regulations regarding wetsuits. Specifically, Fabian is concerned that wetsuits would be allowed or mandated if only one spot on the race course was cold enough while other spots of water plus the air temperature are far too high for wetsuit use.

She also worries that making wetsuits optional would give athletes that choose to wear them a huge advantage over athletes that might opt out for fear of overheating.

Read the full text of Fabian’s full letter below.

An Open letter to FINA World Cup Race Officials who asked for athlete feedback regarding the use of wetsuits for FINA 10K open water races:

The Technical meeting for the FINA World Cup Race in Portugal today indicated that FINA is unprepared to make a decision about how to use the temperature information obtained at a venue in conjunction with their new Wetsuit rule.

1) For example, when there are different temperatures at different places in the course, do they use an average temperature, or select the lowest? This scenario was presented by coaches to officials, who said the lowest temperature is the deciding value. The coaches then stated their concern about a situation where the majority of the course was too warm to use wetsuits, but one spot might be cooler. Coaches and athletes were in shock to hear that in the hypothetical scenario with 6 temperatures taken on different locations in the course, if 5 measurements were 28C but 1 measurement (the lowest) was 18C, then FINA would adhere to the lowest temperature and declare a wetsuit mandatory race.

2) Coaches asked to see this ruling, and were told that the rule didn’t exist, but that nevertheless the official was making the decision to use this format for determining whether it was a wetsuit race or not.

3) The coaches unanimously agreed that using the average temperature would be the most safe method of determining the temperature of the course. FINA resisted and declared that 6 temperatures were to be taken, and the lowest used as the determining factor. For example, the majority of the swim tomorrow will take place under the hot sun with an air temperature of 28-30C, and will be swum in water that will likely be above the optional wetsuit temperature range (at or above 20 deg C) with only a very small segment within the optional wetsuit range.

4) The coaches believed overheating was the most overriding health concern for the athletes. The only known incident in the sport came from overheating, not cool water. In 2010, American athlete Fran Crippen died during a FINA world cup circuit race in the UAE, a race that was held under extreme heat conditions. It is demeaning and insulting that FINA is ignoring the concerns of coaches and athletes pertaining to overheating yet again.

5) One coach said it was disgusting that FINA would ask athletes and coaches to choose between athlete safety and professional success, as a wetsuit “option” isn’t an option if you want to be competitive. As FINA officials stated in the meeting, wetsuits are a major buoyancy advantage and swimmers simply swam faster in them.

6) There is another aspect of FINA races potentially involving wetsuits that has not been well thought out: pre-race numbering. Athletes and coaches were informed that the wetsuit needed to be worn when athletes were receiving numbers on their body prior to the race. This is a potentially dangerous plan in that it requires athletes to put on and wear their wetsuits for approximately 45 minutes to one hour before the race in the 28-30C weather. There will be no air conditioned tents available. This could contribute to a potential situation with overheating before the athletes even begin the competition.

7) Air temperature is also an important factor in athlete safety during races. Wearing a full body covering suit made of neoprene, especially in 30C weather, is a safety concern. FINA did not agree to take the air temperature into consideration even though it can contribute to overheating in a 2 hour marathon event.

8) FINA stated that this race was to be an “experiment” with how wetsuits affect the physiology and performance of athletes when the water temperature is borderline too warm for wetsuits (or above the wetsuit range in 5 out of 6 temperature measurements) and the air temperature is hot. “Experimenting” on professional athletes during important races in their careers, putting their lives in danger… that isn’t what sports are about. That isn’t a standard to aspire to.

I agree and am glad that FINA is seeking feedback from athletes and coaches about competitions involving wetsuits. However, after the technical meeting today, it is apparent that there are a lot of untested variables that potentially impact athlete safety that were not considered when making this new wetsuit rule. I hope FINA will address these concerns and put athlete safety first.

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Next Generation Pushing Men’s Breaststroke Events At USA Swimming Nationals

Michael Andrew Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The men’s breaststroke events are shaping up to be one of the deepest and most competitive events at next week’s USA Swimming Nationals in Indianapolis, but one of the most interesting things to watch may not be who ends up on top of the podium, but who is right behind.

While Josh Prenot, Kevin Cordes, Will Licon, and others have been the standard bearers for the United States at the collegiate and international level, we have also seen a new crew of American breaststrokers rising with them who seemed poised to make the jump to the next level of competition.

Reece Whitley

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming – Reece Whitley Setting a New National Age Group Record

One of those young rising stars is Reece Whitley, who just verbally committed to swim at Cal last week. The 17-year old broke both national independent high school short course yard breaststroke records this year, with his best long course times standing at 1:00.95 and 2:11.30. While he has been steadily improving in the short course pool, Whitley is due for a drop in long course – he hasn’t had a significant drop in either event since he was 15.

Whitley will go into the meet seeded seventh in the 200 with a 2:12.58, just behind fellow 17-year old Daniel Roy of King Aquatic Club. Roy is seeded with a 2:12.17, and was 2:12.84 just a couple months ago at the Mesa stop of the Arena Pro Swim Series. That is nearly three seconds faster than Whitley has been this year, so don’t be surprised to see Roy challenging for a spot on the podium given his strong in-season swim in Mesa.

A third 17-year old, Michael Andrew, is going into Nationals as the 9th seed in the 200 breast with a 2:13.90, but Andrew realistically has the best shot of all three to get himself on the World team. Andrew is seeded third in the 100 breast (59.82), well ahead of Whitley (10th) and Roy (16th). He also has a chance to make the Worlds Team in the 50 breast if he wins the event, which he admitted in Mesa has been a focus going into this summer.

As we head into a new Olympic quad don’t be surprised to see any of these young swimmers make a move towards the top of the podium as they work to take over as the next generation of American breaststrokers. You can view the entire psych sheet for next week’s Phillips 66 National Championships here.

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Maggie Wallace Ready to Lead Next Generation of Open Water Greats

Photo Courtesy: Maggie Wallace

by Kevin Gill, Swimming World College Intern.

With the ever growing popularity of open water swimming, both domestically and internationally, many young faces are beginning to emerge as the future of the sport. Seventeen year-old Maggie Wallace has recently proven that she is ready to lead the next generation of great open water swimmers.

Wallace swims for the Egg Harbor Township Seahawks under Coach Brian Elko. The rising senior also competes for Ocean City High School.

At the 2017 Open Water National Championships at Castaic Lake, Wallace competed in her first ever 10K race. Alongside open water stars like Ashley Twichell, Haley Anderson, and Becca Mann, Wallace finished the race in a time of 2:08:13.905, good enough for 16th overall.

After an impressive first ever 10K performance at Open Water Nationals, Wallace was selected to represent Team USA at the 2017 UANA Pan American Championships in the Cayman Islands, an event where team Canada claimed victory. While competing for the first time internationally, Wallace finished seventh alongside some of world’s best open water swimmers.

During her time at this competition, Wallace was able to do something she had always wanted to. “It has always been my dream to be able to represent my country so to be able to get my shot was absolutely amazing,” she said.

Wallace took full advantage of the opportunity she had to compete against some world class open water swimmers. “I learned how competitive the swimming world actually is on the international stage,” she said. Many times it is hard for swimmers to truly realize this until they are stroke for stroke with experienced swimmers such as Eva Fabian.

maggie wallace2

Photo Courtesy: Maggie Wallace

When asked how she began her open water career, Wallace discussed how it had been something she had been participating in from an early age, “I have lived near the ocean all of my life so I started swimming open water as soon as I knew that there where races in my home town.”

A race like the 10K is challenging, both mentally as well as physically, yet Wallace finds enjoyment in an event most swimmers would be hesitant to try, “I like the solidarity of the whole thing. It’s just you by yourself and you controlling how you race”.

Although the longer distance is relatively new to Wallace, she and Coach Brian Elko both knew it was a challenge that would take Wallace’s distance career to the next level.

Elko increased her yardage significantly in hopes of preparing Wallace to hold as solid of a pace as she could for the grueling two hour race.

maggie wallace1Photo Courtesy: Maggie Wallace

With all of this open water success, Wallace’s pool swimming should not be overlooked.

After finishing second in the 500 free at the New Jersey high school state championship meet, Wallace took her talents to Christiansburg, Virginia for the Speedo Sectionals Series meet. There, Wallace placed first in the 500, 1000, and 1650 yard freestyle.

She is a senior nationals qualifier and competed at the 2016 Speedo Winter Junior Nationals. Her versatility expands beyond freestyle, as Wallace has a very solid backstroke and IM as well.

Looking towards the future, Wallace will continue with open water swimming, hoping to have similar success as she has had recently. “I plan on keeping up with the 10k and all open water swimming now that I have found my calling for it.”

With the success that she has had, Wallace aims to represent her country on an even higher level, “I hope to make it to the world stage sometime in the future”.

The addition of the women’s 1500 in the Olympic schedule gives Wallace more opportunities to break out onto the sport’s biggest stage. “For true distance swimmers like myself adding the 1500 is a blessing from the swim gods and it gives us a shot at another Olympic event,” Wallace reflected.

Whether it be in the pool or any other body of water, Wallace will definitely be a name to remember as a new generation of great swimmers emerges for Team USA.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Peaty, Martinenghi Amond Record Breakers at Day One of 2017 Sette Colli

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

The 2017 Sette Colli International kicked off today in Rome, Italy and runs through Sunday, June 25th. Day one of the meet saw a total of three meet records fall, in addition to a new Italian National Record and a World Junior Record by Nicolo Martinenghi.

Women’s 50 Back

Australia’s Holly Barratt dashed to a top showing in the women’s 50 back, setting a new meet record at 27.57. The previous meet record was a 27.67, set in 2016 by Canada’s Kylie Masse. Barratt’s time moves her to fourth in the 2017 world rankings, just behind the Chinese trio of Yuanhui Fu (27.36), Xueer Wang (27.55), and Xiang Liu (27.56).

Etiene Medeiros of Brazil grabbed second overall with a time of 27.82, followed by Simona Baumrtova (27.89) of the Czech Republic.

Men’s 50 Back

Hungary delivered a 1-2 punch in finals of the men’s 50 back as Richard Bohus and Gabor Balog cruised to the finish. Bohus touched first with a final time of 25.04, followed by Balog’s time of 25.12.

Italy’s Matteo Milli rounded out the top three with a time of 25.21.

Women’s 400 Free

Boglarka Kapas collected another win for Hungary with a strong showing in the women’s 400 free. Kapas took charge of the race around the 200 meter mark and never looked back, holding off the competition to finish first with a time of 4:06.05.

Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey fought her way to the podium after flipping seventh at the 150-meter mark. Harvey overtook the Australian duo of Jessica Ashwood and Kiah Melverton, touching with a final time of 4:09.78.

Ashwood and Melverton were third and fourth with times of 4:10.85 and 4:10.98 respectively.

Men’s 400 Free

Park Tae Hwan of South Korea touched first overall in finals of the men’s 400 free, stopping the clock at a time of 3:44.54. That time sits just off his 2017 best of 2:44.38 from the Atlanta stop of the arena pro Swim Series.

Italian Olympian Gabriele Detti finished second overall with a 3:45.88, but is currently ranked second in the 2017 world rankings with a 3:43.36 from the Italian Championships.

Mack Horton of Australia completed the podium with a time of 3:47.58, a few seconds off his 2017 best of 3:44.18.

Women’s 100 Breast

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor of Great Britain capitalized on a strong back half in the women’s 100 breast to grab a close win over the competition. O’Connor turned third at the 50-meter mark behind fellow countrywoman Sarah Vasey (31.34) and Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen (31.45) with a split of 31.57, but turned up the heat and brought the race home with a final time of 1:07.35.

Italy’s Martin Carraro jumped from fourth at the 50-meter mark to second overall with a final time of 1:07.74, while Vasey faded to third and a 1:07.76

Men’s 100 Breast

World Record holder and British Olympian Adam Peaty dominated the competition in the men’s 100 breast, leading the podium trio beneath the one-minute mark. Peaty stoppced the clock at a 58.72, downing the previous meet record of 59.63 set in 2016 by Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis.

Italy’s Nicolo’ Martinenghi turned in a second place finish of 59.31, slipping beneath the Italian Record of 59.42. His time also improves his own World Junior Record of 59.46, set this spring at the Italian National Championships.

Titenis finished third overall with a time of 59.69.

Women’s 50 Fly

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands collected her first win of the meet in the women’s 50 fly. Kromowidjojo soared to a final time of 25.59, nearing the meet record of 25.23 set in 2015 by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom.

Australia’s Barratt added a silver medal to her collection with a second place finish of 25.91, while Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands was third with a 26.11.

Men’s 100 Fly

South Africa’s Chad le Clos demolished the meet record in the men’s 100 fly, delivering a top time of 51.65. The previous met record was set in 2008 by Australia’s Andrew Lauterstein at a time of 52.14. Le Clos holds the fastest time of 2017, so far, at a 51.29 from the South African Championships.

The Italian duo of Piero Codia and Matteo Rivolta finished second and third, respectively, with times of 51.93 and 52.30.

Women’s 200 Free

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini and Sweden’s Michelle Coleman battled for gold in finals of the women’s 200 free. Coleman jumped to an early lead in the race, while Pellegrini rebounded from a fourth place turn at the 100-meter mark, steadily gaining on Coleman throughout the next 50 meters. Pellegrini powered to a final time of 1:56.16, just off her 2017 best of 1:55.94 from the Italian Championships.

Coleman settled for second and a time of 1:56.49, finishing off her second-ranked 2017 best of 1:55.64.

Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands delivered a third place finish of 1:56.51.

Men’s 50 Free

The men’s 50 free final played host to multiple sprint Olympians from across the continents. Brazil’s Bruno Fratus splashed to the top of the podium with a 21.86, close to his 2017 best of 21.70.

Second was picked up by Great Britain’s Ben Proud, who currently holds the 2017 fastest time at a 21.32. Proud collected the silver with a final time of 21.95, just ahead of Australia’s Cameron McEvoy and his time of 21.96.

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Nicolo Martinenghi Downs 100 Breast World Junior & Italian Records at Sette Colli

World Junior Record holder Nicolo Martinenghi downed the World Junior and Italian National Records in the men’s 100 breast during finals of the first day of competition at the 2017 Sette Colli International.

The men’s 100 breast featured World Record holder Adam Peaty, former meet record holder Giedrius Titenis, and Fabio Scozzoli, the previous holder of the Italian National Record. Swimming against such a talented field of athletes, it should come as little surprise that Martinenghi improved his previous best time of 59.46 to a 59.31.

Martinenghi’s .15 second improvement cleared Scozzoli’s 2011 record of 59.42, which the young Italian came close to this past April at the Italian National Championships.

Comparable splits:

  • Martinenghi (June 2017): 27.54, 31.77 = 59.31
  • Martinenghi (April 2016): 27.65, 31.81 = 59.46

The meet, which plays host to a multitude of international champions, runs from June 23 – 25.

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Synchronized Swimming Establishes Foothold in New York City

Photo Courtesy: Gotham Syncro

By Michael Randazzo, Swimming World Contributor

New York City, the city that spawned stickball, may seem the least hospitable of venues for an activity like synchronized swimming, remembered here mostly for Martin Short and Harry Shearer’s hilarious send-up on Saturday Night Live. Evidence is growing, though, that the sport’s popularity is on the rise in this hard-core urban setting.

“Water ballet,” as it’s known to some, is an exceptionally elegant pursuit; when properly executed, it’s a delight to watch. But it requires dedicated participants, experienced coaches and—most critical—pool time, ingredients not in plentiful supply in Gotham.


The Aquacade, Photo Courtesy: New York Public Library

Such was not always the case. The Aquacade, an Art Deco 11,000 seat amphitheater in Flushing Meadows park in Queens, hosted the most successful show of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, produced by the legendary Billy Rose and starring the likes of Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and Gertrude Ederle (the first woman to swim the English Channel) along with newcomer Esther Williams. Times and tastes change, however, and the Aquacade fell on hard times.

But “synchro,” an exhausting athletic pursuit, has experienced an uptick of interest in New York due to the dogged persistence of coach and performer Rowena Mohammed and the recent arrivals of Paola Tirados, a silver medalist for Spain at the 2008 Beijing Games, and Emily Kokernak, formerly a synchro coach in Massachusetts.

Mohammed, with more than 30 years’ experience as a choreographer, coach and swimmer, likens synchro to ice skating or ballroom dancing—with the twist that it’s performed in deep water. She herself is a deep well of information describing the distinctly New York version of an aquatic sport that typically thrives where outdoor pools and comfortable weather are the norm.

Since 2006, her club Gotham Synchro, one of two synchro programs in New York City, has worked with male and female athletes of all ages to develop synchronized swim routines. Gotham has sent swimmers to regional and national tournaments, including Age Group Nationals at the Junior Olympics. As a member of USA Synchro’s regional East Zone, Gotham’s younger athletes compete against 30 teams from the New England and Tri-State (CT, NY, NJ) regions as well as Pennsylvania, Maryland and parts of Ohio.

Because pool time is limited, Gotham practices in Manhattan, Westchester and the Bronx: finding pools and committed athletes are the major challenges Mohammed’s club contends with. “New York City is very expensive, so it increases the cost of the program and limits the budgets and commitments of potential swimmers and coaches,” she wrote in an email.


Photo Courtesy: Gotham Synchro

Adding that “Children and adults are overscheduled and don’t always have a commitment level that matches their desired goals,” Mohammed regrets that busy parents with demanding professions make it difficult for their children to succeed.  “Like any other sport or activity, swimmers do better when they receive support and assistance from their family.”

But New York does offer some distinct advantages, including a unique breadth of international talent and experiences. Former Gotham swimmers now compete in Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Mohamad also believes that there will be more support for a sport that other parts of the country have not yet embraced. “New Yorkers respect us as the athletes that we are,” she explained. “No one who has attended one of our practices has questioned the talent and training required to perform our sport.”

Imagine Imports a Winner

While Gotham Synchro must fight to find pool time and participants, Imagine Synchro—part of the Imagine Swimming empire—is surely among the city’s most fortunate aquatics programs. The arrival in 2014 of head coach Paola Tirados, a three-time Spanish Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008), and the support of Imagine co-founder Lars Merseburg promises well for the nascent synchro program.

But Tirados, who hails from the Canary Islands, describes the major challenges on her new island (Manhattan) in much the same terms as Mohammed at Gotham Synchro.


Imagine Synchro. Photo Courtesy: M. Randazzo

“[It] started with one girl, then a couple of months later I had two girls, but it was so difficult because synchronized swimming is not very popular here,” she said. “It’s popular in California and Florida but not here, because there aren’t enough pools.”

Luckily, Tirados, who moved to New York City four years ago with her husband and fellow Olympian, Dimas Wood, can take advantage of the infrastructure of the city’s largest youth swim program as she builds a competitive team. According to Kate Pelatti, Imagine’s COO, the Spaniard’s vision for an urban synchro program dovetailed perfectly with Imagine’s approach to competition and—more important—the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

“Synchronized swimming was the perfect fit to our overall approach to aquatics because it is expressive, full of movement, fluid and fun,” Pelatti said. “There is nothing quite like dancing across the surface of the water.”

Imagine Synchro is beginning to make its mark in the relatively small world of Northeastern synchronized swimming. This year, for the first time, Tirados’ charges medaled in East Zone competition, success that their coach hopes will lead to better things. “We won a couple of medals in East Zone this year. Maybe next year we can arrive to the Junior Olympics.”

And for Tirados, as important as success in the pool has been the approval of Imagine Synchro’s parents.

Lourdes Escorial’s daughter Claudia has swum with Imagine the past two years. Inspired by watching synchronized swimming at the 2012 London Olympics, Claudia had been a member of a synchro team in Madrid before her father took a New York City-based posting with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain’s second largest bank.

Upon arriving in Brooklyn, Escorial looked for a water polo program for her son—which she found at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights—and synchro for her daughter. She was delighted to discover Imagine’s program: “For us it was very surprising [to find synchro in the city]. It’s very common in Spain and in Europe but not here.”

When asked about the impact of Tirados, Escorial was effusive. “The group loves swimming together,” she said. “They have different performances because there are stronger girls and those who only swim one or two times a week. But all of them love synchronized swimming.”

Daniela Raz’s 14-year-old daughter Una had been swimming with Imagine for a number of years but grew bored with lap swim. When Una found that she could combine swimming and dancing with a group outside of the social demands of middle school, she was delighted, as was her mother.


Imagine Synchro. Photo Courtesy: M. Randazzo

“It’s surreal,” Raz says of the experience of synchro in New York City, “because it’s both very beautiful, ornate and graceful, but it’s also incredibly athletic. You have these kids who are a combination of both…dance and discipline and expressiveness, but also athleticism.”

As with Escorial, the presence of a qualified and knowledgeable coach has had a profound impact on her daughter’s experience of synchro in the city. “Paola has been tough and supportive of being respectful and working hard, but also incredibly generous and thoughtful,” Raz said.

Adults Can Play Too

Gotham and Imagine are not the only synchro programs looking to make a splash in the New York marketplace. There are other up-and-comers, notably Kokernak, a former Age Group and intermediate coach with the Cambridge [Mass.] Synchro Swans.  In 2015, Kokernak started a coed program focused on adults, based out of the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, which welcomes swimmers of all levels and currently has six core members.


Brooklyn Synchro. Photo Courtesy: Matteo Prandoni

Called the Brooklyn Synchro Club, the program initially focused on local opportunities, with club members occasionally performing at benefits and parties. But Kokernak said that three women new to the sport are planning to compete this October at the USA Synchro Masters Nationals in Clermont, Florida.

“I want to be able to offer the synchro experience everyone dreams about, whether it is competing or just learning for fitness and fun,” she said. Despite, or perhaps because of, formal synchronized swimming training and a reliance on FINA (an international federation administering international competition in water sports) technical rules, Kokernak insists that the classes are fun and dynamic.

“I’d love to see more adults try synchro and encourage men and women and girls and boys to seek out a class—it’s a lifelong sport and insanely fun and addictive,” she said enthusiastically.

In a city populated with individuals devoted to some of the most unusual passions, perhaps the idea of a fun, addictive athletic pursuit that involves water is perhaps not so surprising after all.

With Chip Brenner

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Kevin Cordes, Andrew Seliskar Not Listed on Initial Psych Sheet for U.S. Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Editorial content for the 2017 USA Swimming Nationals is sponsored by TritonWear. Visit TritonWear.com for more information on our sponsor. For full Swimming World coverage, check out our event coverage page.

Kevin Cordes, an Olympic finalist in both breaststroke events last summer in Rio, and Andrew Seliskar, this year’s NCAA runner-up in the 400 IM, are both absent from the initial psych sheet for next week’s U.S. National Championships.

Cordes has been a consistent presence on the Arena Pro Swim Series all year, so his absence is especially puzzling, while Seliskar has not competed since the NCAA championships.

Swimming World has reached out to determine the reasons for Cordes and Seliskar being absent and will update this story if there are new developments.

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USA Swimming Aims to Revamp Eating Habits with #swimFASTERfood Campaign

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

USA Swimming is saying bye-bye to fast-food and hello to FASTER food by rising up against poor concession stand choices and overhauling how concession stands are run.  Promoting healthy options with the new #swimFASTERfood campaign, USA Swimming is teaming up with Chobani® and Milk Life to create awareness and educate USA Swimming’s 400,000 members on fueling for better performance.

“Hot dogs, soda, chips, nachos and candy bars are some of the most popular items in swim team concession stands, so we feel there is a better way,” said Matt Farrell, USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer. “We want to ‘Take a stand against today’s concession stand’ to improve how swimmers of all ages prepare for an event. We can show them that eating healthy doesn’t have to sacrifice taste, cost or ease of purchase.”

The campaign will include amusing short video clips, attention-grabbing taglines that take on today’s eating habits in graphics and other digital assets, featuring four-time Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers, that challenge swimmers and their parents to take action by making smart choices when it comes to nutrition. In addition, a #swimFASTERfood recipe guide will be available in Splash magazine and on www.swimFASTERfood.com.

Watch the #swimFASTERfood video series called “What to Eat at a Meet.”

“This is a Swim-tervention! We all know feeling your best is the key to a great swim, so why fill up with typical concessions stand foods that don’t make us feel that way? We’re here to change that,” said Grevers. “So trade in your muffins for medals and join us in the #swimFASTERfood revolution to build champions and make concessions stands more health friendly.”

To help parents become advocates for change, the campaign seeks to raise awareness that swim meet concessions contain snacks that aren’t fueling young athletes to deliver their best performances.

New research* from the USA Swimming Concessions Survey shows U.S. parents of youth athletes do want healthier options available for purchase at on-site concessions – less than two in five parents agree that concessions help fuel youth athletes to perform their best. The survey also found that:

  • Parents are more likely to describe concessions as being unhealthy than healthy. Only 1% of parents say concessions are healthy.
  • Unaided, one-fourth (24%) of parents describe concessions in terms of their unhealthiness – whether that’s because they’re not very nutritious, are “junk food,” are sugary or are fattening.
  • 79% believe spectators would appreciate having healthier food and beverage options on-site. The top items parents would like to see available for purchase include fresh fruits (whole or sliced), granola/energy bars, string cheese/cheese cubes, nuts or seeds (e.g. almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds), fresh vegetables, yogurt and milk/chocolate milk.
  • 81% of those who always/frequently purchase concessions agree they personally want to see concessions offer healthier choices.
  • More parents bring their own snacks than buy from concessions because bringing their own is cheaper and healthier. 50% of parents who bring food and beverages from home said they do so because it’s a healthier option than what’s available on-site.

In addition to educating athletes about making smarter nutrition choices at youth sporting events, USA Swimming is making a concerted effort to engage parents, as the survey found that:

  • Of the 42% of parents who run or contribute to stocking concessions, 64% are significantly more likely to purchase from concessions than those who rarely or never work concessions (64% vs. 37%).
  • When parents are buying from concessions, they’re typically getting less-than-healthy options, like hot dogs, soda, chips and nachos, and purchasing these items for themselves or their athlete. Consumers may be buying unhealthy options because this is all that concessions offer.

“While a balanced and nutrient dense diet is essential for all children, it is especially important that swimmers are eating foods to fuel their active bodies and minds while spending long days at meets,” said Kelly Jones, Board Certified Sports Dietitian. “USA Swimming is inspiring change at concessions so kids have convenient options to energize them for multiple races that are spread over many hours. Having healthy recovery foods on site also optimizes the swimmer’s ability to race or train again the next day. By partnering with food brands that provide the proper balance of nutrients for fuel and recovery, swimmers and their parents may include more nutritious options while away from the pool, too.”

Additionally, the campaign will feature user-generated content on social media using the hashtag #swimFASTERfood. The swimming community will be encouraged to show support for the cause by posting healthy recipes or taking a stand against processed, high-calorie concession stand foods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

For more information on the #swimFASTERfood campaign please visit www.swimFASTERfood.com.

*The USA Swimming Concessions Survey was conducted from June 9-10, 2017. Respondents to the survey were selected from Research Now’s consumer panel to reflect a distribution of adults 18 years or older across the U.S. census regions. At the time of the survey, participants had to have at least one child aged 5 to 17 years old who actively participates in competitive youth sports. Without knowledge of USA Swimming’s sponsorship, 500 respondents completed the survey.

About USA Swimming

As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

Press release courtesy of USA Swimming.

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Psych Sheet Out for Next Week’s Phillips 66 National Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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USA Swimming has posted the psych sheet for next week’s Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis. The meet runs June 27-July 1 at the IUPUI Natatorium.

Click here to view the full psych sheet.

The entry list features no major surprises, with Olympic gold medalists Katie LedeckyRyan MurphySimone Manuel and Lilly King all entered in multiple events as the top seed.

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Wright State at $54,640 of $85,000 Fundraising Goal With 7 Days Left

Photo Courtesy: Wright State University

Earlier in June Wright State announced fundraising plans in an effort to keep the swimming and diving teams for the 2017-18 season.

The fundraising group was charged to raise $85,000 by June 30, and have since raised a total of $54,640 in donations with two weeks left until the deadline.

All donations are being held and monitored by the CSCA with the promise that if the $85,000 goal is not reached all donations will be returned to the donors.

Once the $85,000 goal is reached, the CSCAA will transfer $76,500 to Wright State to preserve the swimming and diving program. The remaining $8,500 will be placed in an external foundation to help preserve the Wright State swimming and diving programs.

Wright State had announced the programs would be cut back in May “effective immediately” as a way to save roughly $500,000 in annual expenses. This was shortly following the termination of the swimming and diving program at University of North Dakota and the men’s swimming and diving program at the University of Buffalo.

You can donate to help save the Wright State University Swimming and Diving programs by donating on the CSCAA website here. You can also donate by sending check payments C/O Greg Lockard, CSCAA, Attn: Wright State Fund, PO Box 121, Essex Fells, NJ 07021.

More information can be found at the Fairborn Daily Herald

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