INDUSTRY NEWS: Aaron Peirsol Turns Pro, Gives Up Remaining Two Years At Texas and Signs with NIKE -- April 30, 2004
CARY, NC, April 29. OLYMPIC silver medalist and world record-holder in the 200m Backstroke Aaron Peirsol (Irvine, CA) has decided to forego his last two years of eligibility at the University of Texas for the opportunity to turn pro at 20 years of age. Peirsol has agreed to a multi-year contract with NIKE.
With his love of surfing and potential for four gold medals at this year's Olympic Games in Athens, Aaron was a highly sought-after athlete.
"Aaron has the unique opportunity to do what no other athlete has ever done in the sport of swimming -- make it cool to young boys in a field dominated by the NBA, NFL and MLB.
"His love of surfing big waves and any activity involving the ocean has prompted Peirsol to donate some of his earnings to The Surf Riders Foundation in California, a non-profit organization focused on issues of environmentalism and surfing throughout the world (www.surfrider.org). We have already found Aaron a professional surfing coach and look forward to fostering his love of the water, both in and out of the pool" said Peirsol's agent Evan Morgenstein, President of Cary, North Carolina-based Premier Management Group, LLC.
Peirsol has already shot the upcoming catalog for NIKE, a pictoral in the New York Times Magazine and will attend the USOC media summit in New York City on May 16th.
"Becoming a professional athlete and representing NIKE who has been associated with so many of my sports idols and sharing my good fortune with young kids and the surf community means everything to me. I hope to be a great representative for the United States in Athens and make all of the fans of my sport proud." commented Peirsol.
Peirsol is an Olympic silver medalist and world record holder in the 200m backstroke and a multiple world champion. Premier Management Group, LLC, represents 59 Olympic athletes and coaches including icon Mark Spitz, Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres and Apolo Anton Ohno.