Olympic Icon Aaron Peirsol to Host Arena Grand PrixView in Orlando

As part of its continuing commitment to growing the sport of swimming in the USA, Arena North America will offer 24 Orlando youth swimmers the opportunity to swim alongside five-time Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol and 2012 bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz at the Arena Grand Prix at the YMCA on International Drive this Saturday. The special relay event will take place 15 minutes before the start of the evening’s finals sessions, which will feature the top swimmers in the world.

The “Arena Grand PrixView, featuring Aaron Peirsol” was created to inspire youth swimmers in each of the Grand Prix cities, by reminding children and their parents how to love an enjoy the sport. Along with the relay race, all kids at the meet will enjoy a motivational talk by Peirsol, the world’s best backstroker, and current medal contender Leverenz. The event will be emceed by NBC’s voice of swimming, Rowdy Gaines.

20120817-Arena_main_logo_black“Arena wanted to find a way to expand the excitement and inspiration of the Grand Prix Series to truly impact youth swimmers across the nation, and the Grand PrixView gives us the opportunity to do just that,” said Tim McCool, Vice President and General Manager of Arena North America. “In Aaron, we found the perfect ambassador for this cause – someone who is wholly committed to inspiring kids and encouraging their love of our sport.”

At each event, Peirsol will give a special talk to local swimmers, ages 8-12, and their parents. As the cornerstone of the events, the youth swimmers will compete in a relay race with Peirsol and Leverenz. The race will take place in front of the Grand Prix crowd, just prior to the finals session. After the race, the kids will watch the finals session from the special Arena Shark Tank seating area, while enjoying photos, autographs, conversation and dinner with Peirsol and Gaines.

“When Arena approached me with the opportunity to reach youth swimmers across the nation, I was extremely energized,” said Peirsol. “I know I speak for much of the U.S. National Team when I say that we recognize the importance of encouraging and perpetuating the love of the sport, and I hope an experience like the Arena Grand PrixView will positively impact kids across the nation. We all need to remember why we fell in love with this sport, and I hope I can help send that message through this event series.”

More: The Arena Grand PrixView will begin at 4:45 p.m. at the YMCA on International Drive … Youth swimmers were selected by Florida Swimming from area swim clubs and range in age from 8-12 years … Media wishing to cover the event are asked to apply for a credential at www.usaswimming.org/media … This event is part of Arena’s historic, eight-year partnership with USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the U.S.

This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Arena USA, a SwimSwam partner.

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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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