Lots of inclusive fun!
This year will go down as the year of the technical suit. FINA spent countless hours deciding on the fate of the technical suit, Rowdy Gaines commentated on elite athletes’ choice of suit in Rome, and Michael Phelps continued to win wearing the “old” suit. Though the rest seemed to be obsessed with new technologies, Masters swimming (though there was definitely some “suit talk”) continued to do what it does best: encourage all athletes of all ages and abilities to enjoy their time in the water and improve themselves (for some of us this means a faster time on the scoreboard, a higher place on the podium, a lower number on the scale or merely the sensation of “feeling good” as you crawl out of the pool).
The 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship held August 6 through August 10 at the famous IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind., was a big success. Records fell, stories were told, sponsors were active, volunteers were hard-working, encouraging and cheerful, coaches were proud and swimmers were successful while having fun.
Participation is the name of the game when it comes to U.S. Masters Swimming events and the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming National Championship was no different. With almost 1,200 participants, the pool deck was hopping with excitement and buzzing as old friends and new chatted about life, family, training and, of course, competition. “Did you see that race? It was amazing!” and “She swam so well, did you know that she is just now getting back after her illness,” and “Wasn’t that relay fun?! I’ve never swum on a relay before.” Each of the 1,145 participants had a unique background, a different story to tell and was motivated by his or her own reasons, but each of the 1,145 participants came together under one roof, in one pool. Swimming is fun and feels good. Competition, though sometimes scary, serves as a fantastic form of measurement of improvement or just as a great way to cap off summer with friends and teammates. Whether a participant swam to break a record or swam to challenge herself in a new stroke, all of the participants in the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship deserve a high-five for their accomplishments. So, from U.S. Masters Swimming, “Congratulations on your swims. We’re proud of you!”
Participation By the Numbers:
- 1145 (total participants)
- 680 (male participants)
- 465 (female participants)
- 37 (different states represented)
- 7 (different countries represented: USA, Russia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Canada and Dominican Republic)
Competition, as always, was hot at the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship. Records fell left and right, and sometimes more than once in a single heat. 116 national individual and relay records and 55 world records were broken during the five-day event.
U.S. Masters Swimming welcomed seven of its Gold Level sponsors to the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship: Nike, blueseventy, FINIS, Kiefer, TYR, Speedo and Kast-A-Way. Like old friends, U.S. Masters Swimming’s partners have come to know and love all of the U.S. Masters Swimming members. It was not uncommon to venture to the North Concourse and see Patti Kast fitting a member in a Speedo suit while asking about his or her granddaughter’s graduation party, or to hear Megan from blueseventy say, “It is so good to see you again, your last suit was a 28, right?” The U.S. Masters Swimming sponsors and vendors are not only business partners, but have also become part of the family. In Indianapolis, seven different vendors were ready, willing, and happy to help zip up your suit, open the case to your new set of goggles to get you to your next race on time, and explain the difference between lycra and polyester suits. U.S. Masters Swimming values its partners and looks forward to their participation in future events.
The 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship upheld the prestige of its predecessors. Next year, U.S. Masters Swimming will celebrate its fortieth anniversary at the 2010 U.S. Masters Swimming Short Course National Championship scheduled in May, to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.
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