SwimMAC Elite’s successful clan of athletes is welcoming a new member, at least temporarily. SwimMAC CEO and Head Coach David Marsh confirms that Swedish veteran swimmer Therese Alshammar will join the Charlotte, North Carolina-based squad for approximately three weeks as part of her preparation for Rio.
Sharing Marsh’s philosophy that providing stimulating atmospheres for veteran athletes is key to keeping the professionals highly engaged, the three-time Olympic medalist will arrive in Charlotte with coach Johan Wallberg in January.
Marsh tells SwimSwam that “I’ve gotten to know Therese Alshammar over the years at the Mare Nostrum tour (the best professional meet series out there). She is a delightful person, a mother, a wife and a former Cornhusker.”
Alshammar’s career kicked off with a medal-winning appearance at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and has continued through the years with accumulation of 25 World Championship medals and 43 European Championships medals. The 38-year-old specializes in the sprint events, having seen most of her success in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle individual races, as well as a dynamic component of her Swedish squad’s 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle relays.
Having ‘out of town’ guests is nothing new for the successful pro group, as Italian breaststroker Lisa Fissneider worked with the Elite team in March for six weeks and prior to Fissneider’s presence, the club hosted Hungarian Olympian Laszlo Cseh in 2014. Frenchman Gregory Mallet for an extended 6-month stay during that same year. The club is also home to foreign athletes Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Bahamas), Roy Burch (Bermuda) and Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe).
Marsh indicated that two Danish athletes, Pernille Blume and Daniel Skaaning trained at SwimMAC a few weeks ago while Elite mainstay Micah Lawrence trained with Singaporean National Team Head Coach Sergio Lopez. In the immediate future, Marsh tells SwimSwam that Lia Neal and Felicia Lee are headed to SwimMAC after the Duel in the Pool for a brief week-long training stint, while Michael Chadwick and Josh Schneider will partake in at least some portion of training with SwimMAC in January.
According to Marsh, SwimMAC is partnering with a variety of others to enhance the experience and opportunities for the Elite swimmers and others that are eager. In this present climate, Marsh adds, however, that he does not allow dopers, any athletes with USADA/WADA positives, to train in his program.
South Korea’s Tae-Hwan Park had visited with the SwimMAC Elite team in January of this year and considered potentially setting up camp in Charlotte for his long-haul training headed into Rio. Later that same month after his initial visit, however, it was revealed that the Olympic gold medalist had tested positively for a banned substance in the fall of 2014.