International Swimming League (ISL) Founder Konstantin Grigorishin issued an open letter on Thursday, his first public statement since the conclusion of the league final, thanking everyone who helped make Season 2 happen. The letter was sent out on the ISL Facebook page.
“I have finally had a chance to catch my breath after the magnificent Final Match of ISL’s Season 2. And what a final that was!,” Grigorishin said. “With this letter I would like to express to you all my utmost sincere and heartfelt gratitude for making ISL Season 2 happen.”
The league finale wrapped up on Sunday, Nov.22, with the Cali Condors claiming the league title with a 97.5-point margin of victory over 2019 champion Energy Standard.
Grigorishin sent out specific messages to the production team and the athletes, coaches and team managers.
“To the Production Team: You surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations of quality and sophistication in visualization, commentating, technical support and data processing and analytics. There is no other swimming competition in the world that can match this today. You have set a new standard for excellence.
“To the Athletes, Coaches, Team Managers: You demonstrated your professionalism, team spirit and camaraderie and unsurpassed athletic greatness. And you did all of that at a time of extreme adversity, under immense pressure not to take risks and not to perform. This pressure came from all sides: from those who were genuinely worried about your wellbeing, but also from those who were simply jealous of your courage and your ambition. You persisted. You continued to train and prepare to reach your best. You trusted us and came to Budapest. And you rewarded yourselves and your fans with an extraordinary athletic performance. You have made us all immensely proud with your achievements.”
While Grigorishin’s letter did not acknowledge the financial stress the season has put the league under, which includes having several vendors claiming they haven’t been fully compensated for work done during the 2019 season, a league statement sent out on the eve of the final did. The ISL said their “head-down approach to deliver Season 2020 may have caused friction with some suppliers but we will honour all obligations”, and that they “will need to close all outstanding issues” before planning starts for next season.
In closing, Grigorishin said that the 2020 campaign proved that the league has staying power in the sports world.
“To all of you: You delivered. You have demonstrated to the entire sporting world that ISL is not a fluke, it is not a folly, and it is here to stay! Season 2 has set ISL on an upward trajectory. It is now up to all of us to build on this momentum.”
You can read the full statement below: