Olympian Maritza Correia Impacts Swim History: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

In this Gold Medal Minute takeover of the SwimSwam Podcast we have the first black woman to break an American and world record and make the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team.

Olympic star Maritza Correia (now McClendon) has layers. She’s more than just a 2004 Olympic medalist. Her roots run deep in the sport, and she owns metrics that will make the biggest swim nerd’s head spin. Who is the first swimmer, male or female, in SEC history to win all of the freestyle events, all free titles, at the SEC Championships? Yep, that’s right. Maritza.

Maritza has always been a trailblazer, and she has never stopped giving back to the sport. Yes, she’s the first black woman to break the big records and earn her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, but she’s still in swimming, working to make the sport accessible to all children living on all social economic levels.  Most often that starts with the gift of learning how to swim. Go to her website to learn more and do a deep dive.

When I think of Maritza, I do think of a champion, and a person on a mission to improve lives through the sport, but I also saw her for years and years at swimming events working in marketing for big swimwear brands. She was always there, always working, always the most professional person in the room.  Maritza’s a grown woman and a mother, and she has a lot to share, especially in the wake of George Floyd’s murder May 25th of this year.  If I ever had or have a question on the topic of being a black swimmer in our sport, Maritza tops the list of people I trust to give me the facts–no matter how hard they may be to hear.

In this podcast we cover Black Lives Matter, and swimming, but there is always more to ask and learn. If you have a question, please share it hear. We can always ask Maritza back to the podcast for another episode.

Follow Maritza Correia McClendon  on Instagram here.

Follow Gold Medal Mel Stewart on INSTAGRAM HERE


This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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6 months ago


6 months ago

Wow, I was unaware of Maritza’s accomplishment at SECs…all free events! One of the most impressive things I’ve heard for sure! What a great story, thanks for sharing. I would be intrested to hear a little more about the piece at the end of the interview regarding the added criticism of black athletes. In my opinion, the amount of criticism leveled at public figures (athleted, actors, politicians, etc) corresponds with that person’s level of stardom AND their level of participation in public life and discourse. Then again, I may be on a different page than what was being discussed here… Nonetheless, I am grateful that Maritza and Mel shared their experiences and stories with us, especially Maritza for overcoming past… Read more »

Please and thank you
6 months ago

Great interview, thank you! What a rock star Correia is!
Mel, you take so much care in how you communicate. It’s a shame that the comments section on this site are approaching unreadable. I’d love to see a more cleaned up comments section, that demands more of your readers/ commenters, and keeps everyone on topic.

tea rex
Reply to  Please and thank you
6 months ago


Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
6 months ago

But can you really blame these people in this current doxxing culture?!

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
6 months ago

down-voting is so last decade, the option should not be there, it just invites trolls

Reply to  Please and thank you
6 months ago

I’m no mind reader, so I can’t tell if your comment is coincidental or a passive aggressive jab. I of course don’t run this site but I would think you’d be allowed to be critical of my comment and disagree with me directly…I am not offended, rather I see it to be socially healthy and refreshing! By all means, fire away!

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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