Left Handed Swimmers Celebrate Left Handers Day

Olympic Champion and Mutual of Omaha BREAKout Swim Clinic managing partner, Josh Davis, celebrates being left-handed on Left Handers Day.


Olympic Champions Josh Davis and Ian Crocker at a Mutual of Omaha BREAKout Swim Clinic (Image courtesy of MOO BOSC)

Olympic Champions Josh Davis and Ian Crocker at a Mutual of Omaha BREAKout Swim Clinic (Image courtesy of MOO BOSC)

Today, August 13th, is annual International Left Handers Day where we take a moment to celebrate all those who have not just survived but thrived in this right handed dominant world.  I am very proud to be left handed, my wife is left handed, and our first born son is left handed.  Whenever I meet another left hander we wink at each other kind of like X-Men do when they meet each other because we are both aware of our special giftedness. For example:

One study showed left handers can adjust to seeing underwater quicker!

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the fastest women in the world, is left handed. (2013 FINA World Championships, Photo Credit: Victor Puig)

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the fastest woman in the world, is left handed. (2013 FINA World Championships, Photo Credit: Victor Puig)

In honor of the great left handed swimmers like the fastest woman in the world right now, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 3 time Olympian Ian Crocker, 6 time Olympic Coach Eddie Reese and the legendary Mark Spitz, we always start our one arm drills in swimming with the left arm.  So if you’re training today remember to do left arm first on butterfly, backstroke and freestyle one arm drills to pay homage to all the left handers that make this world a better place.

Although we can’t transfer our God given “specialness” to you right handers out there, here are two interesting studies that might help you perform more optimally like us left handers:

1) By squeezing a ball with the left hand, which activates the right hemisphere of the brain, participants in a 2010 study in Israel scored higher on a creative problem-solving test than those who squeezed the ball with the right hand and others who did nothing with their hands.

2) In a 2012 study, German researches found that right-handed athletes were less likely to choke under pressure when they clenched their left fists before competing.  By activating the brain’s right hemisphere this way, these athletes were limiting the probability of overthinking their movements or ruminating (associated with the left hemisphere) and more likely to rely on motor skills developed over years of performance (associated with the right hemisphere). (Success Magazine, pg 12, Aug. 2013)

Other notable left handers:

Barack Obama, Sylvester Stallone and Rocky, Sting, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Jim Carrey, Peirce Brosnan, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Marilyn Monroe, Celine Dion, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hellen Keller, Neil Armstrong, Henry Ford, Marie Curie, Prince William, Winston Churchill, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John McEnroe, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, David Robinson, Tim Tebow, Abraham Lincoln, Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Lawrence, Owen Wilson, Jerry Sienfeld, Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jay Leno, Seth Rogan, Howie Mandel, Rashida Jones, James Cameron, Chris Nolan, Joss Wheden, Martina McBride, David Bowie, Adam Levine, Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Ned Flanders and all 351 residents of Left Hand, W. VA.

SwimSwam wants to know who else in the swimming community is left handed.  Today is your today to shine, so left handers stand up and be celebrated.

Tweet Josh at @JoshDavis_USA  if you’re left handed!

Mutual of Omaha BREAKout Swim Clinic, ad, breakout-ad-160x600About Josh Davis

Josh Davis is a world-class motivational speaker, broadcaster and swim clinician. Josh reaches thousands of young swimmers as the embodiment of the sport’s values.

Silver 400m freestyle relay
Silver 800m freestyle relay

Gold 400m freestyle relay
Gold 800m freestyle relay
Gold 400m medley relay

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Some other lefty-swimmers: Anthony Ervin, Conor Dwyer and, if I remember correctly, Becca Mann.

Also, there are Jarkko Nieminen (Finnish tennis player), Carlos Moya (former Spanish player who is left-handed, but plays right-handed – the opposite of Rafael Nadal who is right-handed, but plays left-handed), Arjen Robben (soccer player), Valentino Rossi, Ben Spies (both MotoGP), Goran Ivanisevic (ex tennis player) … God, the list goes on!

I myself am right handed, but I consider lefties to be among the coolest people on this planet. 🙂


Ambidextrous but more dominant in left hand. Am a Masters swimmer who ventured into other sports during lifetime: netball, track and field, tennis, triathlons, half marathon, bodybuilding competitions, charity bike rides and fun runs. Just love sports! :):)

Ringo Starr is left-handed but his drums are set up for a right-hander.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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