Courtesy: USA Swimming
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, today announced the transition of three-time Olympic gold medalist and USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador Rowdy Gaines to the role of Director of Community Engagement.
Active as an Ambassador of the USA Swimming Foundation since 2011, Gaines will continue his advocacy for the sport and fundraising efforts and will collaborate with organizational leaders to develop and deploy a robust community relations strategy.
“I have had an amazing relationship with USA Swimming dating back to its inception in 1980 when I was at the height of my career as a swimmer,” Gaines said. “It literally has never stopped. This is another step in trying to give back to the sport that has given me so much the last 40 years. I was a full-time employee from 2003-08, and I helped start the USA Swimming Foundation so in many ways this is just a continuation of immersing myself in our swimming community… our swimming family.”
During his competitive career, Rowdy’s name became synonymous with American swimming. Between 1978 and 1984, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame member set 10 world records. In addition to his three Olympic gold medals, he has also tallied 16 total medals (12 gold) representing the United States at the World Championships and Pan American Games.
Gaines has had a long history with USA Swimming out of the water as well. His work with the USA Swimming Foundation dates to 2003, when he helped launch the Foundation and served as its Executive Director until 2008. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Aquatics for the YMCA of Central Florida in Orlando.
“It would be difficult to find someone who cares more about this sport than Rowdy Gaines,” said Shana Ferguson, Chief Commercial Officer for USA Swimming. “And while many know him as the face and voice of competitive swimming, even more notable is Rowdy’s fierce devotion to increasing swim lesson opportunities for young children. Swimming is a life-saving sport for all ages, and no one embodies that mission more than Rowdy. We are lucky to have this champion leaning in even more with our work here.”