In this challenging time, it is more important than ever that the swimming community stay connected. We helped swimmers from across the world do just that at the first ever World Swim Gala!
More than 130 swimmers put on their fanciest outfit and tuned in to our live Zoom event. The festivities included speeches from Olympic medalists Rowdy Gaines and Kaitlin Sandeno, a Q&A, awards and a dance party!
Moving Musical Performances
We kicked off the event with a beautiful performance the song “Hero” from community member Pat Mathison. Pat’s rendition of the song reminded us that as one swimming community, we will overcome this difficult time together.
Fun fact: Pat learned to swim at age 53!
Inspiring Keynote Speakers
As the first keynote, Olympic gold medalist Kaitlin Sandeno shared stories from her Olympic journey and advised swimmers to control what they can control — their nutrition, their mindset and their dryland training routine. Her positive mindset is infections, earning her the Golden Perspective award!
Rowdy Gaines followed, talking about how the 1980 Olympics boycott affected his mental state — that would have been his first Olympics, and many athletes missed out on ever competing in the Olympics again. The 3-time Olympic gold medalist shared his swimming story, talking about how he started swimming at age 17 after failing at 5 other sports.
Rowdy encouraged athletes, saying that swimming is a big global community, and that it’s important to nurture your friendships during this time. We’ll get through this together!
Q&A with Olympic Legends
During the Q&A portion of the event, Kaitlin and Rowdy answered questions from the audience, ranging from dryland training tips to the most memorable moments during their careers.
We ended the event with a swimming-themed dance party. Swimmers got on their feet showing off their moves and their fancy outfits!
Watch the Full Event
If you weren’t able to make it to the live event, watch the full recording here!