“Thank you, Swimming” – A Collection of Appreciation For Our Sport

With Thanksgiving coming up, we asked some of your favorite swimmers to complete the following sentence with anything that came to mind; below is a collection of thankful thoughts for our sport on this Thanksgiving Day.

“Swimming, thank you for…….”


Kirsty Coventry, courtesy of Tim Binning

“Teaching me the value of sportsmanship, to win with humility and lose with grace. Thank you for my scholarship so I could further my education. Thank you for my scholarship so I could further my education. Swimming, thank you for showing me that we can change obstacles to become stepping stones for future success.” – Kirsty Coventry, Olympic gold medalist and four-time Zimbabwean Olympian

“Teaching me to be dedicated.” – Emerson Barnhill, Freshman swimmer at NC State

“Bankrupting me into heaping credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck for little to no reward and recognition” – Elvis Burrows, Bahamian Olympian

“Giving me a stage to glorify the Lord who deserves all praise.” – Michael Chadwick, All-American swimmer at Mizzou

“The lessons learned and memories made.”  – Joe Bonk, All-American swimmer at NC State

Arkady Vyatchanin of NYAC at 2015 U.S. Nationals (courtesy of Rafael Domeyko)

Arkady Vyatchanin, courtesy of Rafael Domeyko


“Giving me so much in life that I’m proud of!” – Arkady Vyatchanin, multiple Olympic medalist

“The opportunities you bring me to draw close to others, to draw closer to God, and to find real joy in the water every day.” – Maxime Rooney, U.S. National Champion and World Junior Champion

“Developing a strong work ethic, for helping me be successful, strong shoulders to support me and my loved ones and friends for a lifetime.” – Erika Braun, Masters World Record Holder

“Getting me into college” – Santo Condorelli, Canadian elite swimmer, Pan American multi-medalist

“Opening doors for me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel the world, meeting people and forging the most incredible relationships.” – Michael Andrew, multiple U.S. National Age Group Record Holder and World Junior Champion

“Helping me keep balance in my life.” – Molly Hannis, former All-American University of Tennessee swimmer

Michael Andrew at 2015 FINA World Junior Championships (Courtesy: Michael Andrew's Instagram)

Michael Andrew at 2015 FINA World Junior Championships (Courtesy: Michael Andrew‘s Instagram)

“Teaching me how to go after something I really want. Thank you for the memories, the medals you’ve brought to my table that make me smile every day. Thank you for the friendships and life lessons.” – Vinny Tafuto, swimmer at the University of Michigan

“All the opportunities I’ve been given, the wonderful friendships I’ve made and the life lessons I’ve learned.” – Hannah Weiss, University of Southern California All American/School Record Holder

“Teaching me how to set goals higher than I thought could be possible and to believe in myself.” – Andee Cottrell, University of Louisville swimmer

“Bringing out the best in me. You always present me with daily challenges I am forced to overcome. You often teach me how to struggle. You make me excellent. You have made me a better person in every aspect of life. Thank you for that.” – Vinny Tafuto, University of Michigan swimmer

“All the lifelong friendships that are greater than any possible accolade.” – Ian Silverman, 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist and multiple World Record Holder

“Allowing me to pursue higher education and make lifelong friends along the way. Also, thank you for letting me eat whatever I want whenever I want!” – Kelsi Worrell, All-American University of Louisville swimmer and American Record Holder

“For reminding me what butterfly feels like.” – Alex Coci, Romanian National Record Holder

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, courtesy of Domeyko Photography

“Giving me a competitive edge both in and out of the water.” – Nolan Tesone, University of Louisville swimmer

“A world of opportunity.” – Lisa Blackburn, Bermudian National Team member

“Allowing me to travel to a lot of awesome places with some of the most amazing people I know.” – Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Bahamian Olympian and National Record Holder

“Teaching me to flow with the waves of life.” – George Bovell, Olympic medalist, Trinidad & Tobago

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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