SwimSwam recently caught up with Haley Anderson who’s back in Los Angeles training at Trojan Swim Club. Haley’s swimming career over the past couple of years has been remarkable. She’s won multiple NCAA titles, an Olympic Silver Medal and this past summer she brought home gold from the World Championships with her win in the 5K open water event.
Haley seems a lot more relaxed now that she’s done with school and has enjoyed back to back summers of international success. “It’s really nice to be back here swimming and having the opportunity to explore other things I’ve always wanted to do”, she said.
One of those things is coaching. Haley’s been devoting time to helping the girls swim team at Harvard Westlake High School. “I like giving back and helping the swimmers achieve their goals.”
As we’ve reported here, due to the fact that the open water national team was selected off the performance in the 10k at the USA nationals, Haley was left off the open water team – the top six made the national team and Haley was 8th. But Haley’s not bitter about this, but she does hope it will lead the open water swim committee to consider selecting a team off of multiple races. “Each race can be very different in the same distance and I believe you should pick the team off two races and not just one.”
Haley is also a strong proponent of creating racing opportunities here in the US that will draw top level international competitors. “We always have to travel out of the US to get a good race in and this is tough when you’re in school. We need to get more international experience. Racing internationally is a lot different that racing here in the US. Races can be more brutal internationally – not just physical it’s brutal tactically too.”
One thing that seems different about Haley Anderson is that she’s carrying herself with a new found dignity and respect for her role as an open water swimmer. Gone are the days when she was the happy go lucky USC distance standout who did well in open water events. Yes, she’s still smiling a lot and and has happy demeanor that belies her fierce competitive drive, but now she’s more confident in her open water swimming – winning in Barcelona has shown her that the Olympic silver medal wasn’t a fluke. It’s going to be exciting to watch Haley develop over the next several years.
“We’ve got a lot of great open water swimmers in the US and it’s going to be a lot of fun”