David Marsh and his SwimMAC Carolina program has begun rebuilding their professional training group headed toward the 2016 Olympics.
Yesterday, they got a commitment from two-time Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, and today the club announced that 2012 U.S. Olympian Lauren Perdue will train in Charlotte for the 2016 Olympics.
“I have been ready to begin my professional swimming career since graduating from the University of Virginia this past May. I am thrilled that I have been blessed with the opportunity to represent Team Elite in the beautiful city of Charlotte. Coach David Marsh and Team Elite have helped many athletes achieve their highest goals, and it is my hope that this new phase of my life will help me grow both as an athlete and a business professional. I am looking forward to experiencing everything Charlotte has to offer” states Perdue.
Perdue’s career has been up-and-down; when she began her collegiate career at Virginia, she looked like she was the next great thing in American freestyling, and was the ACC Championship Swimmer of the Year as a freshman. Then she ended up missing the end of her junior season during the 2011-2012 season with a severe back injury, only to make a stunning comeback and qualify for the 2012 Olympic Team in the 800 free relay that summer in one of the year’s great stories.
For her efforts as a prelims swimmer on that relay, she received an Olympic gold medal. Coming back to Virginia for her senior season in 2013, however, Perdue managed to score in only one individual final as a senior: 10th in the 200 yard freestyle.
Now, Perdue will head into the deep water of professional training, though it appears as though she’ll do so without much support from USA Swimming. She did not swim at the U.S. World Championship Trials, and won’t swim at the U.S. Open, meaning that she won’t renew her spot on the US National Team, or receive APA stipends, for the 2013-2014 season.
“It has been fun watching Lauren rise through the ranks as an age group swimmer from Greenville, NC then to watch her success in Charlottesville and now it will be even more fun to have her here in Charlotte,” SwimMAC CEO Marsh said. “Lauren was quick to discover and recognize the support for the sport swimming in the Charlotte community. When our staff met with her to discuss next steps it was important to her to land in a community that would support her goal to win an individual medal as well as support her in gaining experience in the work force.”