Olympians Talk About the Importance of Friendships in Swimming

As a swimmer, you spend countless hours training in the pool or in racing situations and you share those experiences with only a handful of people — your teammates. You sweat together, fight with each other, stare at a black line together, and compete against each other day in and day out, and those are the friends that will stick with you through all your ups and downs.

Cullen Jones
2008, 2012 Olympics
4x Olympic Medalist
World Record Holder: 4×100 Free Relay

As an only child my teammates are my family. That’s what drew me to swimming. Swimming cultivates a special kind of crowd. What do i mean? Easy, you can’t play swimming, every day every practice we have to push ourselves beyond what we think possible and only my teammates get it. “Sorry i can’t hanging out, I have Saturday morning practice,” never applied to me! My friends had the same excuse.

Elizabeth Beisel
2008, 2012, 2016 Olympics
2x Olympic Medalist

Swimming has given me friendships with teammates that will last forever. These teammates have now become my family, and I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without them. My friends from swimming are the friends that truly get me. They understand the ups and the downs of life, and they know when to build me up when I’m knocked down. I am so grateful for swimming – not because of the medals I won or the records I broke – but because of the people it brought into my life. Thank you, swimming, for giving me the best family I could have ever asked for.

Missy Franklin
20012, 2016 Olympics
6x Olympic Medalist
World Record Holder: 200 Backstroke

Missy Franklin  (Tim Binning, theswimpictures)

Swimming gives you so many things that last a lifetime, but the most important of those is friendship and companionship. Looking back, it’s not the times and the records that I remember most but the laughs, the joy shared, and the memories with friends that I will have forever.

Ryan Murphy
2016 Olympics
3x Olympic Medalist
World Record Holder: 100 Backstroke

I believe the friendships I’ve developed through swimming have made a difference in my success. I’m able to achieve more as a part of group than I could on my own. My friends at the pool make it enjoyable to show up every day, and push me to be my best. At the end of the day, my closest friends are swimmers.

Katie Meili
2016 Olympics
2x Olympic Medalist

Katie Meili 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

My favorite thing about the sport of swimming is all the incredible people I have met through it. Swimming has introduced to wonderful people from all over the world. My swimming friends are my best friends. They are friends that understand me, support me, and push me to be a better person. I’m grateful to swimming for many things, but I’m absolutely the most grateful of all the people the sport has brought into my life.

Ricky Berens
2008, 2012 Olympics
3x Olympic Medalist

My friendships are one of the core reasons I was not only successful in swimming, but truly WHY I swam. Friends were what got me through the hard times and made the good times even better.

Austin Surhoff
3x USA National Team Member
2x Olympic Trial Finalist
National Champion

We don’t “play” swimming. There’s no ball, no goal. A lot of what we do at practice is work. So we have to find the fun in each other. I think that’s where the friendships in swimming start, and why they are forged so strong that they last a lifetime. We want to come to swim practice because of our friends, and, for me at least, that also is where the true love of the sport takes root. That cycle also helped foster a deep love of the sport itself. It was a positive cycle that continued throughout my career.

Kris Kubik 
University of Texas
Associate Head Coach

When I was an eight and under, I became friends with several members of my team. We rode to meets together, we raced each other, and we always shared smiles and laughter.  Over the years I have proudly watched them marry and raise their families.  I have shared joyous moments with them and also leaned on them in times of need. To this very day, my heart is always warmed when get to talk or spend time together. There is something incredibly unique about the swimming community in the way that it fosters friendships — not just for a short while  — but for life!


What is the First Splash Series?
1. A series of events for summer swimming.
2. An appreciation of the swimmers and families that make summer swimming FUN!
3. A spotlight on the HEROES of our sport—summer swimmers, parents and volunteers!
4. A celebration to kick-off an amazing 2019 summer season!
5. A common vision of long-time swim company, Speedo, and new swim company, Swimmingly, who believe summer swim families should be celebrated!

“We believe in summer swimming—the families, the swimmers, and the fun of each swim meet. It’s where I fell in love with the sport” said Charlie Houchin, 2012 US Olympian and CEO of Swimmingly. “Each year, many new families are introduced to swimming by a summer swim team. It’s their ‘first splash’ into the sport that we all love, and it ought to be a great one!”

What is Swimmingly?
If you’ve ever run a summer swim meet, you know that the problem is all the paper! Wet time cards, missing DQ slips, runners, and stressed volunteers! If you believe in shorter swim meets, fewer volunteers, and less paper, Swimmingly is for YOU! Swimmingly is an app and software tailor-made for summer & recreational swim families. It’s now easy for any new swim parent to volunteer at swim meets, know how their kids are doing, when they swim, scores of the meets and when they can get the heck out of there! It’s time for everyone to enjoy summer swimming a little bit more! Learn more here at Swimmingly.app

Swimmingly Swim Meet App

SwimminglyFan – For Parents & Fans (NEW SUMMER 2019!)

Swim news courtesy of Swimmingly, a SwimSwam partner. 

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