Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from athletes around the world in their non-aquatic habitats, helping us get to know them for more than just an event ranking or time on a board. Read on and learn something new this week.
Legendary Australian distance swimmer Grant Hackett has had his share of troubles since retiring from the sport both in 2008 and then again in 2016, including mental health issues, that landed him a treatment center. But the 38-year-old business professional has seemingly been turning his life around, complete with a prestigious promotion to Chief Executive at Generation Development Group (GDG), an investment firm with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.
Hackett, whose resume includes am MBA, as well as diplomas in Business Law and Financial Services, joined GDG in October 2017 and has reportedly led sales in his division to grow more than 70%. He will be charged with pursuing growth in the company’s Asia Pacific region in his new role.
In the height of his career, Hackett was unstoppable in the distance races, earning 1500m freestyle gold both at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
#2 – Western Australia Gets Published
The sport of swimming has been ingrained within Western Australian culture since the 1880s and now a book has been published to document how the journey actually unfolded over the years. Bouyant: A History of Swimming in Western Australia gives readers a glimpse into how the sport began in the area, including highlights of the various clubs, coaches, competitors, administrators and officials that all played a role in swimming’s development.
Champions such as Percy Oliver, Evelyn de Lacy and Eamon Sullivan are among the Western Australians discussed in the book, which also boasts 175 images. A names index includes more than 1,000 names associated with the world of swimming. The book can be ordered here.
Paralympic swimmer Yip Pin Xiu of Singapore has become the first person with a disability to be featured in an advertising campaign for French cosmetics giant Lancome. Yip is the newest face of Lancome’s ‘Love Your Age’ campaign, which ‘encourages women to love and embrace who they are and to live their lives to the fullest, regardless of their age.’
The advertisements featuring the swimmer were rolled out last week both online and in print. Yip told The Straits Times, “It’s rare to see a person with a disability in a beauty ad. However, I think more people are starting to look beyond the disability and truly see someone for who they are.
“I’m proud of Lancome for being able to do that.”
26-year-old Yip, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, earned two gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
27-year-old Japanese Olympian Satomi Suzuki tried her hand at baseball recently, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the 5th game of the Hiroshima Japan Series. Suzuki earned the silver medal in the 200m breast and bronze in the 100m breast at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but missed making the final of the event in which she qualified, the 100m breast, at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Intensely focused on making the team once again for a chance for Olympic gold, Suzuki wore a jersey with the number ‘105’ emblazoned on the back when on the mound. The number represents her goal of achieving a 100m breast time in the 1:05 range. To date, her personal best rests at the 1:06.46 that gave her bronze back in 2012.
— 鈴木聡美 (@satomi_bomber) November 1, 2018
#5 – Phelps Finds a Buyer
We reported last year how the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps, had put his Arizona mansion on the housing market for a list price of $4.125 million. Phelps and his wife, Nicole Johnson, along with then just months-old son Boomer moved into the 5 bedroom, 6 1/2 bath manse in December 2015 shortly after longtime coach Bob Bowman took his new head coaching role at Arizona State University.
According to listing records, Phelps bought the 6,000 square foot house for $2.537 million through a limited liability company and his Baltimore-based business manager David Pessin. (Mansion Global) The Paradise Valley home reportedly went into contract this week at an asking price of $3.75 million, although the final sale price will not be available until the deal closes.