In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges, Garrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.
arena signed 17-year-old phenom and Olympic breaststroke champion, Lydia Jacoby, the brand’s first sponsorship deal under the new NCAA NIL (name, image and likeness) rules that came into effect on July 1st, 2021.
The day arena made the announcement, Lydia topped SwimSwam traffic, pulling more eyeballs than the ISL match and the college invite coverage. In other words, this native Alaskan has real star power!
In this podcast we talk NIL, the moment NIL became real (during Lydia’s Olympic training camp), breaststroke training with coach Solomon D’Amico, and the excitement of signing with arena.
If you were hiding under a rock this past summer, Lydia stunned the world by coming from behind to win gold in the Olympic 100m breaststroke, besting both the current world record holder. It was the culmination of a meteoric rise through the elite swimming ranks that started back at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals in 2018, when Lydia first made the cut for US Olympic Swimming Trials at just 14 years old.
With the postponement of the Olympics, Lydia’s training was severely restricted when her home pool closed for nearly 6 months from March to September of 2020. She and her father, with the help of her coach Solomon D’Amico, had to build a makeshift weight rack at home until a facility in Anchorage began to partially reopen in May of 2020, 2.5 hours and 120 miles from her hometown of Seward.
Undeterred, Lydia returned to the pool faster than ever, breaking National Age Group records twice at the Olympic Trials, where she finished second in the 100m breaststroke to become the first Alaskan swimmer in history to make the US Olympic Team.
Swimming in lane 3 in the Tokyo 100m breaststroke final, Lydia turned at the halfway point in third place before powering home with a time of 1:04.95. Over the course of just 3 years, she had slashed more than 6 seconds off her personal best, and in claiming her Olympic title, became only the sixth female swimmer in history to break 1:05 in 100m breaststroke.
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Music: Otis McDonald
Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.