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 around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 Japanese Olympian Ryosuke Irie Releases Book
30-year-old backstroke ace Ryosuke Irie of Japan has published his first book. Entitled “Still, I Keep Swimming”, the book contains 54 distinct habits that Irie attributes to both his professional and personal success after having competed on the elite international stage for over 14 years.
Although a two-time individual Olympic silver medalist and a member of the JPN national team since the age of 16, in his book Irie laments his lack of Olympic gold and how that’s kept his drive alive, despite a postponed Olympic Games.
The book is available on Amazon.
#2 Shinri Shioura (JPN) Gets Married
National record holder and 2019 World Championships finalist Shinri Shioura of Japan announced his marriage to entertainer Nonoka Ono earlier this month.
“Today, on Sept. 9, I married Nonoka Ono. It’s thanks to her that I’ve been able to live positively even after the postponement of the (Tokyo) Olympics. I’ll push ahead with my goals alongside my best partner,” 28-year-old Shioura wrote on social media.
“Up until now, my life has revolved around competition, but with the turmoil of COVID-19, I’ve had more time to spend with her (Ono), and I never imagined how happy day-to-day life could be outside competition,” he said. (Mainichi)
Shioura is the reigning national record holder for Japan in the men’s 50m free. Last year in Gwangju, Shioura became Japan’s first 50m free World Championships finalist since 2001.
More than 3,500 athletes representing 41 nations are expected to compete at the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games when they hit Cali, Colombia next year. Dates set for the event, which will host 27 sports, are set for September 9th – September 19th, 2021.
“With the postponement of the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games, the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games will be the most important sports event in the world for young people in the coming years,” said Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic.
Athletes aged 14-22 can participate in the event, with Panam Sports promoting the event as ‘a unique opportunity for the next generation of athletes and for the advancement of sports development throughout the entire American continent.”
The economic and societal impact of a positive sporting event is not lost on Colombian Sports Minister Ernesto Lucena Barrero, who comments on the dates’ announcement, “The National Government affirms the resources and commitments that are required for the Junior Pan American Games in Cali. We know the importance of these Games post-pandemic to help reactivate the economy and for the youth of Colombia and all of the Americas.
“We are working very hard to make these Games as great as we have all dreamed them to be. We want Games of the highest quality, and prestige, but as always the focus of everything is the region, for Colombia and for the athletes who are going to visit us.”
#4 English Masters Swimming Great Dies At 96
Dorothy Williams, a life-long swimmer from England who collected over 700 medals since she was 11 years old, died at the age of 96 earlier this month.
The King’s Cormorants Swimming Club member was part of the English relay team that holds the longest standing GBR swimming record – the mixed 320+ medley. Her last competitive swim was in 2016 after an eight-year break due to a series of health setbacks.
Swim England said, “Dorothy was a great champion of swimming and believed that ‘it was magical and beneficial both mentally and physically.”
#5 Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Develops Strategic Action Plan
The newly-formed Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) has developed a Strategic Action Plan, an endeavor led by CEO Sabeena Hickman upon her hiring in September of 2019.
“This plan will serve as our foundation, define our priorities and chart PHTA’s pathway into the future,” Hickman said.
The Strategic Action Plan includes a mission statement, core purpose, core values and the organizational pillars “Educate, Advocate and Elevate,” with descriptions of each.
“These three pillars focus on education programs and delivery, government relations and advocacy, certification and professionalism, chapter relations, and PHTA’s spiritual purpose,” the organization said.
Per Aquatics International, ‘The need for closer relationships with chapters and to work more with local governments became apparent as the industry managed the various state and municipal restrictions brought about in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Hickman said. So the organization gave this purpose a higher priority in the final document.’