The Benefits of Qualifying For The USA Swimming National Team

by Matthew Harder 27

September 15th, 2021 National, News

USA Swimming recently announced their 2021-2022 National Team roster, which features 114 athletes. When one qualifies for the US National Team, they could be eligible for a variety of key benefits, such as health insurance, monthly stipends, travel assistance, and access to the US Olympic Training Center. Below, please find a breakdown of these major benefits.

2021 Elite Athlete Health Insurance

The US National Team receives Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI), which provides an athlete with a $10,000 life insurance policy through the USOPC. In order to secure this insurance, an athlete must be actively training/competing and have received an Athlete Stipend in 2021.

Funding: 2021 Direct Athlete Support

The US National Team also receives Direct Athlete Support in the form of a monthly stipend. Athletes will only receive funding based on their performances in Olympic events. To qualify for the Direct Athlete Support, a swimmer must:

  • Actively training and competing
  • Named to the current National Team or National Open Water Team
  • Provide a training and competition calendar signed by their coach

Due to the depth of USA Swimming’s National Team, there are also performance standards that need to be met.

  • A maximum of 52 individual Olympic Event athletes will receive funding; Funding will be distributed by gender (26 men and 26 women)
  • Athletes should have a designated World Ranking (1-16) and be named to the National Team in the same event.
  • Athletes may only receive funding in either open water or pool swimming. *For example, Jordan Wilimovsky and Haley Anderson both qualified for the National Team in pool and open water events, but will only receive funding in one of the disciplines.

Within the Direct Athlete Support, or Athlete Partnership Agreement, there are two tiers of funding. The top 52 athletes will automatically receive Tier-1 funding. However, athletes who are ranked in the Top 16 in the world, but outside the top 52 will still receive funding at a Tier-2 rate.

Finally, athletes must compete in at least two TYR Pro Swim Series competitions and must make two appearances. These appearances can include charity events, speaking opportunities, formal autograph sessions, or USA Swimming social media campaigns.

The current recipients of the Direct Athlete Support are members of the 2020 Olympic Team. USA Swimming says that they don’t share publicly the amount of those stipends.

The full breakdown of the USA Swimming Athlete Partnership Agreement (January – June 2021) can be found here.

2021 Phillips 66 Travel Assistance

US National Team members are eligible for travel reimbursements for two competitions this season: The 2020 US Olympic Trials (Wave II) and the 2021 USA Swimming 10k Open Water National Championships.

For the US Olympic Trials, athletes will receive travel reimbursements for a Top-8 individual finish. 2021 National Team members that didn’t finish in the Top-8 will still receive a travel stipend of $375.

Place Finish at 2020 US Olympic Trials (Wave II): Reimbursement:
1st & 2nd Place (3rd & 4th Place in 100/200 free) $775
3rd & 4th Place $675
5th & 6th Place $575
7th & 8th Place $475

For the US 10k Open Water Nationals, athletes that qualified for the 2020 US Olympic Team or the 2021 Open Water National Team that were previously on the 2020 National Team automatically receive $775 in travel reimbursements. Athletes from the 2020 National Team members will receive $675, and athletes who qualified for the 2021 Open Water National Team that weren’t on the 2020 National Team will receive $575. Finally, 2020 Open Water National Junior Team athletes will receive $375.

The full breakdown on the 2021 Phillips 66 Travel Assistance can be found here.

Access To The Olympic Training Center

US National Team Members will receive access to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Typically, athletes are partially reimbursed for their travels to Colorado, while housing and meals are funded by the United States Olympic Committee.

While at the Training Center, athletes have the opportunity to train in a 50-meter pool at altitude (6350 ft. above sea level). In addition, athletes have access to all strength-training and recreational facilities, and will have meals provided by world-class nutritionists.

 

You can find a full list of opportunities available to members of the National Team is available online at usaswimming.org.

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swimmer
1 month ago

we really can’t help these guys who have to make this a full-time job to maintain an elite level a little more? Like we cannot guarantee every national teamer a stipend? I know swimming is not exactly a revenue sport but cmon…

Walter
Reply to  swimmer
1 month ago

You are welcome to sponsor individuals of your choice. Or send money to USA swimming.

Former Big10
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

Walter, what guarantee, can you give me that the money wouldn’t reach the athlete and not go into USA SWIMMING bonus fund for the administrators/coaches?

Here is an old article on the subject of national team coaches bonuses, but I’m on mobile a and too lazy to look for ADMIN bonuses.

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/usa-swimming-approves-bonus-plan-for-coaches/

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Former Big10
1 month ago

Pretty big pot for coaches. I kind of feel like this is going in the wrong direction seeing how many college coaches inherit National swimmers.

For me, coaches are already getting paid to do their job. National level swimmers are getting paid very little. I would much rather see that money go to the swimmers who are doing the work.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

cool dude that’s definitely the point. let’s just crowdfund an olympic team

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Nolan
Hot Take
1 month ago

What is the monthly stipend? Didnt see in there

Former Big10
Reply to  Hot Take
1 month ago

Not enough… hopefully closer to 5k a month for the Tier 1 members this quad. 3k is a joke by pro athlete standards.
My guess- USA SWIM actually lowers it since there is now a pro league to win money. Has ISL paid people out, yet?
https://swimswam.com/usa-swimming-increasing-narrowing-national-team-athlete-funding-leadup-rio/

Hswimmer
Reply to  Former Big10
1 month ago

Just sad

Former Big10
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Feel free to respond with actual information ☺️

Hswimmer
Reply to  Former Big10
1 month ago

?

Former Big10
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

I misinterpreted the context of your response, my bad.

Swim Dad
Reply to  Former Big10
1 month ago

My daughter swam in Hungary last ISL season and is getting her final check this week. At least for her it was more than she ever received via USA Swimming

Former Big10
Reply to  Swim Dad
1 month ago

So about a yearlong wait? I wonder if they prioritized which athletes got paid first?

Admin
Reply to  Hot Take
1 month ago

USA Swimming says that they don’t release the stipend publicly so we haven’t been able to confirm.

We’re asking around to National Team athletes to see if they’ll share.

WEA
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Just logically, how is that possible? They have to get their yearly budget approved at the National HOD meeting. I feel like that should be in the budget so USA Swimming shouldn’t be able to hide that data. How are they getting away with that?

GowdyRaines
Reply to  Hot Take
1 month ago

There’s an older article somewhere on SS from 2016 I think, that shows the stipend payouts. If memory serves, it was somewhere around $1700 a month for pro athletes and less for collegiate athletes on the national team.

Wake up
1 month ago

Hum. Full time job or chasing dreams?

GowdyRaines
Reply to  Wake up
1 month ago

Full time job chasing their dream at that level. It’s not like these athletes are some minor leaguer in single A ball desperately hanging on. These athletes have shown that they are among the very best in their discipline.

Taa
1 month ago

Looks like slave labor if you ask me

Mike
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Pick an athlete and help out!

Taa
Reply to  Mike
1 month ago

How about revenue sharing from the millions upon millions USA swimming takes in every year and pays out in salary to non swimmers?

Doconc
1 month ago

The generous 10k life insurance policy for 20 yo world class athletes. Smh

Wonder which booster gets those premiums?

GowdyRaines
Reply to  Doconc
1 month ago

Wild guess, but Mutual of Omaha? Since they have been the big sponsor of Trials for a while now.

Texas Swim Dad
1 month ago

It seems odd that some LSC swimmers get more travel funds from their LSC than our elite group. Maybe they think the pros don’t need it since most might sponsored. USA-S has cut back netting and programs , where is it being spent ?

Former Big10
Reply to  Texas Swim Dad
1 month ago

The Tavel stipends are so small, anyhow… The state I swam in gave reimbursements, of similar size, for making JRS, US OPEN, Seniors, etc…

Para Dad
1 month ago

I wonder if Para Swimming Athletes receive the same benefits.

Admin
Reply to  Para Dad
1 month ago

Para Swimming in the US is governed by a different group. They have a whole different system and scheme, one that includes different rewards for placement at different meets, their own Operation Gold system. Without doing an in-depth point-by-point comparison, and knowing about what USA Swimming’s stipends are but not really knowing because they have declined to publicize them, the two programs are in the same realm of benefits:

https://www.teamusa.org/-/media/USA_Paralympics/USParaSwimming/Documents/Miscellaneous/2021/2021-Athlete-and-Sport-Program-Plan-Swimming-FINAL-ua.pdf?la=en&hash=4DBF3A77E610A353BA8FAC8500BCB64EF3DC3A8E