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 Coach John Mattos Added to Colorado Hall of Fame
Former Colorado State University swim coach John Mattos has been selected to enter the state of Colorado’s Hall of Fame. Mattos, who coached CSU for over 3 decades, will be inducted during a ceremony on March 14th. He retired from his CSU post at the end of the 2010/11 season.
A former Rams swimmer himself, coach Mattos accumulated a record of 221-113 in dual meets while at the helm. His women’s teams won a total of six conference titles and produced 95 conference championships between 35 swimmers. His teams also had 38 conference relay titles.
Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken was among the highest-profile athletes to swim under Mattos’ tutelage.
Mattos has already been inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019 and is a member of the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
#2 Millfield Athlete Swimming for Australian Charities
The raging bush fires in Australia began in September and are expected to last for several months as the hot weather continues. As we reported in our piece about Olympic medalist Emma McKeon’s plea to the public, smoke from the bush fires is so dangerous that the nation’s capital, Canberra, is currently ranked the world’s worst on the air quality index.
Miles away from his childhood home, Millfield swimmer Adam Graham is taking on a pool 10k swim in an effort to raise funds for several charities involved in the bush firefight, including the Red Cross and NSW Rural Fire Service.
Says the British-based swimmer Graham, a year 9 student-athlete at Millfield School, “I was born and raised in Sydney for the first years of my childhood. I am half Australian and I have many connections with family, friends and places in Australia, particularly in NSW. I know many of the national park areas that have been worst affected. It is my home-from-home and it breaks my heart to see the place I love burning to ash.
“It’s also about looking after our earth, which is important for every single one of us.”
Graham’s fundraising page also says that hitting the pool “is the least I can do considering the firefighters (mostly volunteers) who are putting their lives at risk to help others, along with all the other volunteer services offering essential support to families and wildlife.”
The young swimmer’s charity swim is set to take place today, February 7th at Millfield School. You can view the fundraising page here. At the time of publishing, $7,845 of Graham’s $10,000 goal has been reached.
#3 Retired Swimmer Joins Rwanda’s Swim Governance
The New Times is reporting that retired Olympic swimmer Pamela Girimbabazi has been elected president of Rwanda’s swimming governing body, making the 35-year-old the first woman to head a sports federation in the nation.
The 3-time Olympian will replace Samuel Kinimba Ufitimana who stepped down from the role after having served two terms.
Girimbabazi finished 48th in the women’s 100m breaststroke at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and placed 88th in the 50m free at the 2009 Games in Beijing.
#4 Daiya Seto Helps Show Off Japan’s Unified Olympic Attire
Team Japan’s official 2020 Olympic Games attire for the opening ceremony has been revealed, with Olympic medalist and two-time 2019 World Champion Daiya Seto helping model the outfits.
AOKI Co, Ltd is the official provider of the uniforms, of which the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) describes as ‘expressing the value of the Tokyo 2020 GAmes, passing on the history and traditions, and expressing a sense of unity with the people.’
Additionally, for the first time, the same design is being used for both the Olympic and Paralympic attire, with the theme of ‘symbiosis’ presenting unity between the two realms.
Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) Chairman Mitsunori Torihara, said, “I am excited now just to imagine that the Paralympic delegates will be dressed in the same fashion as the Olympics and march dignifiedly at the opening ceremony at the new National Stadium.
“I truly hope that these changes that are taking place in Japan, which is a symbol of a symbiotic society, will affect and permeate the hearts of people nationwide through clothing.”
While modeling the outfit, Seto stated, “The first impression is that it is so stretchy that I don’t get tired, so I feel really comfortable. The Tokyo 2020 Games is a dream stage, My dream is to win a gold medal at the Olympics, so I would like to do my best to make it happen at the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
You can view photos of Team Japan’s opening ceremony clothes here.
After leaving the Commonwealth in 2016, the nation of Maldives has rejoined the collection of nations as of Saturday, February 1st. The Maldives now makes the 54th nation to be a member of the Commonwealth, joining the likes of Scotland, England, and South Africa. This makes them eligible once again to compete at the Commonwealth Games.
“We are delighted to welcome the country and its people back to the Commonwealth,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland.
“The reform process underway in the Maldives aligns with the values and principles of the Commonwealth and we encourage the nation to continue on this path.”
The Maldives left the Commonwealth previously after having been threatened with suspension over its human rights record and lack of progress on democratic reform.
The nation came away medal-less across all sports at the 2014 edition of the quadrennial Commonwealth Games, with just 4 swimmers representing the Maldives. The highest-ranked swimmer, Aishath Sajina, placed 25th in the 200m breaststroke.