USA Swimming has released a cool visual look at its membership growth on the federation’s YouTube page.
You can see the short video above, which shows a fluctuating hotspot map of USA Swimming’s membership going back 11 years.
The obvious overall trend is growth in membership, with the reach of USA Swimming, the club system and the sport as a whole growing vastly over the passing decade.
Some of that, obviously, can be attributed to the rise of swimming in the public eye as a spectator sport, and to the establishment of high-profile swimming icons – most notably, Michael Phelps. The beginning of this map is the year 2004, in which Phelps first won 8 medals in a single Olympic Games at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Geographically speaking, you can see some former “white zones” fill in with new memberships. The East Coast fills in substantially, and the South goes from a few small pockets of members to a pretty well-spread membership. Farther west, formerly sparse areas like Wyoming and Montana see big growths in memberships, and of course California continues to have a big draw on swimmers.
You can check out the video above, or on the USA Swimming YouTube page here.