Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ Each edition collects personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers Honored with Mural
Two-time Olympian Kyle Chalmers is among the South Australians incorporated into a newly-painted mural celebrating the state’s most-loved and recognized icons.
Along with Channel Seven newsreader Jane Doyle, Chalmers’ face lies among other recognizable South Aussie images, such as a much-loved iced coffee and giant pandas.
The mural, located on the eastern wall of the Elizabeth City Centre, was commissioned by radio personalities Ben & Liam of Nova 919.
Chalmers took gold in the men’s 100m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and followed with a silver in the same event 5 years later in Tokyo. The 24-year-old Adelaide native also claims 4 additional Olympic medals to his credit while he established a new 100 freestyle short course world record last year.
#2 Multiple Aussie Swimmers up for Women’s Health Awards
The Women’s Health: Women in Sports Awards ceremony is slated for October 15th in Australia, where several of the nation’s top aquatic athletes are up for honors.
Marking the 10th annual event, the WinS Awards recognizes and supports female athletes at all levels, from grassroots through to elite competition. According to the organization, ‘It’s all part of our year-round WinS initiative, where we not only shine a spotlight on such talents, but also help athletes to achieve their goals and inspire future generations.’
Awards are given in the following categories, with the respective swimmer/event noted by each below:
- Local Sporting Champion
- One to Watch – Mollie O’Callaghan
- Standout Moment – Ariarne Titmus‘ 400 free gold medal in Tokyo; Women’s 400m free relay World Record in Tokyo
- Young Achiever – Kaylee McKeown
- Champion Team – Women’s 400m free relay in Tokyo
- Leadership Legend – Chloe McCardel in marathon swimming, Cate Campbell
- Athlete of the Year – Emma McKeon
You can view the entire list of nominees with their credentials here.
Coach Bill Wagner may have died in early 2021 at the age of 89 years, but his memory lives on thanks to the community of Oceanside, California.
Dedicated on August 13th, the El Corazon Aquatic Center has been renamed ‘William A. Wagner Aquatic Center’ to honor the coach who helped thousands of Oceanside youth learn how to swim.
Mayor Esther Sanchez said of Wagner, who swam at the University of Utah, “He believed everyone was able to swim no matter who you were. He would be the coach to bring 100 kids to a meet.
“(Wagner) just set a high standard for all of us,” Sanchez said. “He made our community that much greater.”
At Utah, Wagner became captain of the swim team and graduated with a Master’s in Physical Education. After graduating, he served two years in military service and raced at the Military Olympics.
He started the first swimming team at Oceanside High School. During the years between 1959 – 1971, Wagner would guide the Pirates to nine consecutive undefeated Avocado League championships and two CIF championships.
The 2023 FISU World University Games are headed to Lake Placid, New York and the state’s governor just revealed the multi-sport competition’s unique new ‘flame.’
For the first time ever, the FISU World University Games will incorporate a carbon-free torch as a symbol of organizers’ commitment to environmental sustainability. The torch is combustion-less and flame-less, instead using LED lights to produce a brightly illuminated FISU ‘flame’.
The 22-inch-long torch was created and built by Adirondack Studios in Argyle, Washington County, the same business that built the award podiums for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
“With the arrival of the FISU torch, we are now just months away from internationally showcasing New York once again – this time as host of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games,” Governor Kathy Hochul said last week.
“Next year’s Games will be full of excitement and innovation, thanks to investments in our cutting-edge Olympic Regional Development Authority facilities and regional infrastructure, a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, and unique medals developed in-part by New York-based Alfred University students. I look forward to opening up our great state to domestic and international athletes and audiences from New York and beyond, and welcome everyone to experience a New York State winter for themselves.”
#5 Swiss Artistic Swimming Needs Overhaul, According to Report
Following an internal investigation by Swiss Aquatics, a report reveals unethical training methods, chaotic organization and conflicts of interest looming within the nation’s sport of artistic swimming.
The report claimed that the sport is“corroded by an atmosphere of fear and nepotism”, and that training sessions included threats, insults, and physical over-taxing of athletes. (Swiss Info)
“Many unresolved conflicts and unprofessional practices have over the years led to the current unsatisfactory situation. The badly functioning co-directorship and the severe lack of administrative resources tipped things over the edge,” the report stated.
The two co-presidents of Switzerland’s artistic swimming federation have stepped down following the aforementioned revelations which came to light in June.
Additionally, according to Swiss Info, Swiss Aquatics has pledged to enact various reforms to change the culture in the sport: measures suggested include banning parents and trainers of athletes from judging competitions, improving the recruitment and training of coaches, and overhauling the structure of the synchronized swimming federation itself.