This summer, we’ve been tracking the top 6 Americans in each Olympic event – otherwise known as the U.S. National Team. We’ve also in the past broken down the benefits of making the U.S. National Team, though the biggest one is direct funding from USA Swimming.
With the national team firming up this week (the qualifying period ends on Sunday, August 25), it’s time to dig into the specifics of athlete funding, which is based on each swimmer’s world rank in their best event.
You can see the full breakdown of the athlete assistance program here, on USA Swimming’s document. We’ll try to simplify the funding gained through the athlete support program below.
Athlete Support Program, 2019-2020
The specifics of the funding change with each year of the quad. We’ll focus in on the coming year, which will apply to athletes named to the team in the next few weeks.
Please note that we’re breaking down the basic monthly athlete support. There are other avenues for support as well: relay funding (essentially based on a comparison of relay splits from major meets this summer for a smaller funding package), performance bonuses, appearance fees and so on.
Monthly Support For U.S. National Teamers
|World Ranking 1-8||$3,244||$1000/$1750||$1,000|
|World Ranking 9-16||$2,163||$500/$875||$500|
|Non-APA Rank 1-8||$1,892||—||—|
|Non-APA Rank 9-16||$946||—||—|
A few notes to help unpack those numbers:
- If an athlete is on the team in multiple events, they earn funding for their highest-ranking event.
- The APA is USA Swimming’s Athlete Partnership Agreement, which puts some extra requirements on athletes in exchange for increased funding. The requirements include charity appearances, participation at three Pro Swim Series meets and some paperwork filings detailing training and competition plans. Athletes who do not sign the APA receive the lower funding levels listed above. Athletes who do sign the APA receive the higher funding amount listed.
- Only athletes with world ranks in the top 16 (as of September 3, 2019) will be able to earn this monthly support.
- You can only earn national team support from one discipline; an open water swimmer can’t collect open water funding and pool funding simultaneously.
- Only 52 athletes can receive monthly support each year. Typically, it’s capped at 26 men and 26 women, but if only 22 men finished with top-16 world ranks, the remaining four spots would be available if more than 26 women finished in the top 16 worldwide.
- The NCAA column shows two different amounts. This is because NCAA swimmers can earn different amounts at different times of the school year. For the 10 months of the school year (September to May), they earn the lower amount, but over the summer (June, July, August), they can earn the higher amount.
With that broken down, stay tuned to SwimSwam for a look at the probable national team (and those likely earning funding) when the qualifying period officially closes.