Matthew Klotz cracked a Deaf Swimming World Record in the 50 back earlier this week in Omaha, Nebraska. The record-setting race came during a time trial swim at this week’s United States Olympic Swimming Trials.
Klotz swam 25.75 in the time trial, which undercut his own previous deaf World Record of 25.95 done at the 2018 Summer National Championships.
Klotz wrapped up a four-year collegiate swimming career at LSU in the spring of 2020, but the program was not accepting post-graduate athletes because of the pandemic. That left Klotz scrambling to find pool time to train in the leadup to the Olympic Trials. He hasn’t raced a meet since the 2019 US Summer National Championships.
During the Olympic Trials, he swam the 50 free (23.50 – 63rd place) and 100 back (55.72 – 37th place). Klotz was supported at the meet by his age group coach Rob Collins of the Sierra Marlins in California.
Klotz is the current Deaf Swimming World Record holder in the 50, 100, and 200 backstrokes, plus the 50 freestyle, in long course.
The 2021 edition of the Summer Deaflympics has been postponed until 2022 because of the ongoing pandemic. The event is now scheduled to take place between May 1 and 15, 2022 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil. The Deaflympics are the highest level of world competition exclusively for athletes who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Klotz is a 5-time Deaflympics gold medalist, with 3 minor medals to his name as well.