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by Linda Shoenberger

July 1, 2010

Competitors love swimming the same way fitness swimmers do

Viewers who visit the Short Course Nationals page on the USMS website can enjoy the daily recap videos of the event. USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher and three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines host the videos. Along with sharing their own thoughts and feelings during the event, Butcher and Gaines interviewed competitors over the course of the four-day championship meet.

Many of the masters swimmers interviewed are Olympians and current national and world record holders. Out of their mouths came the following comments:

  • I love Masters. We’re going to have a lot of fun over the next few days.
  • It keeps me motivated.
  • It’s [Nationals] kind of a camaraderie swim, which is what I like about it.
  • It’s one big social atmosphere all day.
  • I love to swim. I have a hearing impairment and once you’re in the water it doesn’t matter.
  • Ultimately it’s about fitness.
  • Masters is about everybody.
  • I like to come to meets to see other people.
  • It’s my form of exercise.
  • There’s room for everyone.
  • I think the people who get the biggest cheers are the ones who are just in there to finish the race.
  • There’s a special bond among swimmers. It’s a family.
  • The vast majority of people are just in it for the fitness, the recreation and the camaraderie.
  • It’s a time to see old friends and be able to swim with my wife. (Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff, husband of former USMS staffer Ashley Gangloff)
  • Everybody’s friendly.
  • It’s a way of life.

While these sentiments were expressed by accomplished swim competitors, any one of us can recognize that we feel the same way. Even though we are not all Olympians or national or world record holders, fitness is the basis for all the rewards reaped from Masters swimming. Thank you USMS for providing us the avenues to explore our passion for fitness swimming.