Former U.S. National Teamer Shane Ryan Changing Sporting Citizenship, Redshirting NCAA Season

Former United States National Team swimmer Shane Ryan has announced that he will be moving to Ireland in May in an attempt to qualify to represent the country at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Ryan, who has completed three seasons of eligibility at Penn State, made the announcement via his Facebook page.

I’ve been given the opportunity to train with the Ireland national team and work towards possibly representing them in the Olympics . It was a tough decision for me but I’ve decided that this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I’m moving to Ireland in May and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had such a great time here at PSU the last 3 years and I’m going to miss everyone. But I will be back in 2016, to swim for Penn State and to finish my senior year and graduate. If your ever in Ireland give me a call!

Because Ryan’s father, Thomas, is Irish, he is eligible to change his sporting citizenship to that country’s, though it will mean living in the country and taking a year-long break since the last time he represented the United States internationally. While simply being on the National Team doesn’t lock Ryan into American sporting citizenship, representing the country at the 2013 Duel in the Pool does, which triggers the mandatory residence and wait periods before he can officially compete for Ireland.

The official FINA rule:

GR 2.6 Any competitor or competition official changing his affiliation from one national governing body to another must have resided in the territory of and been under the jurisdiction of the latter for at least twelve months prior to his first representation for the country.

With a good year of competition, Ryan should be able to qualify for the Irish Olympic Team. He was 2nd in 2014 at the NCAA Championships in the 100 back as a sophomore (44.78) and was 3rd as a junior (45.24).

Ryan’s immediate contribution will be in the 100 backstroke, where his best time in long course meters of 53.84  is already faster than the 54.44 Irish Record in that event done by Karl Burdis in 2009. He’ll have to repeat the feat, likely at next year’s Irish Olympic Trials, for that record to count officially.

He’s also faster than the Irish Records in the 100 LCM free (49.27), the 100 SCM free (48.14), and the 100 SCM backstroke (51.01). Ireland is unlikely to qualify any relays for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but Ryan could conceivably compete for the country at the 2016 European Aquatics Championships in London.

In the summer of 2014, Ryan ranked 7th in the 100 back in long course and 9th in the 100 free.

Ryan’s comments indicate that he intends to return to the Penn State program to complete his eligibility in the 2016-2017 season.

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samuel huntington
5 years ago

now two potential US 4X100 relay swimmers – Shane Ryan and Santo Condorelli – have left the country

completelyconquered
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Yes, key word potential. What do you think their odds of making the US team were? 50 to 1?

samuel huntington
Reply to  completelyconquered
5 years ago

I think both had good odds, especially condorelli. As people have discussed on this site, the US doesn’t seem to have any locks in the sprints outside of Adrian and Feigen. Really anyone who has a good swim that day during trials could make it

TheTroubleWithX
Reply to  completelyconquered
5 years ago

I’m pretty sure that the 48.83 Condorelli swam a few weeks ago at the Canadian trials would’ve garnered him a relay spot on pretty much every major international USA men’s roster ever, except for maybe 2008 and 2009.

Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Well, it certainly would be difficult for him (or anybody for that matter) in the US to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 back! This way he may be able to have a chance at an Olympic experience, not to mention getting the chance to live abroad and widen his world view. Good luck, Mr Ryan!

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Lack of ambition.
Doesn’t want to fight.
He could have tried to qualify for the US 4X100 free relay.
All these swimmers choose the easy way.

jman
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Bobo, looks like Shane and his mom don’t like your comment. But i agree with you…it is the easy way. But not sure i blame them though.

Mary Beth Ryan
Reply to  jman
5 years ago

I usually don’t comment but since there seems to b a case of mistaken identity, here goes….Jman, why would u think just because someone signs the name SwimMa, that it’s automatically Shane’s Mom? (Which Thank u to her, for the nice comments!) There r tons of us awesome Swim Moms out there. This however is Shane’s Mom. those of us that know him r proud of him & know that this is 1 of the hardest decision’s he’s ever had to make. It’s not the easy road, u have no idea all of what he is giving up? Athough, now u r correct, as I just hit the down red arrow! BoBo, apparently u don’t know Shane, as he has… Read more »

sally brennan
Reply to  Mary Beth Ryan
5 years ago

Right on Mary B. Best to Shane.

Annette
Reply to  Mary Beth Ryan
5 years ago

Shane is going all the way..he has worked so hard and has achieved so much….he is already a winner and inspiration..can’t wait to see him in the Olympics…Keep going up Shane and never look back…we are all here for you rooting you on. God bless.

Swimma
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

He wants to compete on the grandest stage of sports around the world. If he has to move to another country and has that option, he would be a fool not to. He’s not going to go to Ireland and slack off because he can. He’s still going to race against the U.S. team. He is fighting for his chance at the Olympics in his own way. Go Shane!

mcmflyguy
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

some people have this dream of competing in the Olympics. and the best way for them to get there is to go back to their original nationality. cant blame them. USA is a hard team to make. in 2014 he was 7th and 9th, so in 2016 he could be close to medal contention. is it a lack of fight or smart on his part since he could be swimming for medal contention.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  mcmflyguy
5 years ago

To be sure , It is not exactly his ‘ original ‘ nationality but his father’s original nationality .

Not that it always matters . Irish immigrants right off the dock were ‘ invited ‘ into the Union Army . Smart Northerners could evade service themselves by paying a tidy sum or getting a replacement hence the poor irish men were met at the shipway by beaming smiles. .

Nationality is mostly just chance . .

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Gina Rhinestone
5 years ago

Wow… thanks for the history lesson. doesn’t change anything I said. smarter for him to go to Ireland and have a chance at a medal maybe than chance even making the team here in USA.

Guy #2
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

BOBO GIGI stirring up the pot! This is a great call on his part – he is no doubt elite in the U.S., but no guarantees he will get a relay spot on the U.S.team. As a young guy, pursuing the olympic dream and getting to spend some time abroad is something that a very very small percentage of people can say they’ve done. Good for him. Keep the dream alive Shane!

Wrong.
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

I hope you know him on a personal level before you try to attack his ambition or drive.

Yeah sure he could have tried to make the relay, but it doesn’t mean he would have made it. There’s a better chance of him going to the Olympics representing Ireland than the U.S. As a swimmer if I have a solid chance to make it to the Olympics I would take it…regardless of the route because it’s every swimmers’ dream. So let’s not knock his ambition or fight in him because it’s definitely not our place to do so.

rjcid
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Don’t usually disagree with Bobo, but in this instance, the assumption that he has a lack of anything in this sport is 100% wrong. He can swim more events at the Olympics, he has the speed to final in 100 back, and he can train knowing he’s the best. I had friends who qualified for Puerto Rican Olympic team because they could go to Olympics – mom was Puerto Rican. I even saw them swim in prelims in Beijing – can’t take that away, ever. Almost, what 80% of swimmers at the Olympics train in US? There are a few who don’t, but the majority live and swim here for college. This is a smart move – and never question… Read more »

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Holy moly… 103 downvotes….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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