In what some might call an upset, today at the USA Swimming convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, SwimMAC Executive Director Brandon Drawz won a vote to become the chair of the Olympic International Operations Committee, upsetting long-time chair Mike Lawrence.
After one vote was tied, it went to a second round of voting where Drawz was the victor.
This role is one not often discussed outside of Colorado Springs, but it is a significant position within the organization. Among the functions of the committee that Drawz will now chair are the following functions:
- Endorse selection procedures for swimmers on all National Teams and international teams.
- Endorse USA Swimming Quad Plans, developmental programs, training camps, and pre-Games training
- Make reccomendations for international competitions in the US (World Championships, Pan Pacs, etc.) and invite foreign teams to send athletes to compete at US competitions
The committee serves under the National Team Director. A full description of the committee and it’s duties can be seen in this document. The President of USA Swimming is also on the committee.
This person carries much weight in the organization even outside of the ascribed duties; for example, Drawz’s predecessor Lawrence sat on the 5-man committee that was tasked with seeking the replacement National Team Director that ultimately became Frank Busch.
In other positional changes, Carol Zeleski will be retiring next summer as the Chair of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee; USA Swimming has recommendedJay Thomas to replace her as the American representative on the committee. Thomas is a longtime official who has worked extremely high-level meets including the World Championships, and has vast experience in open water swimming: an area where there is still much technical development to be done.
Thomas is a one-time recipient of the Glen S. Hummer award, given annually to the person who makes the greatest contribution to open water swimming in the United States.