PHOENIX, Arizona, September 14. NEARLY 50 aquatic sport Olympians visited the White House this morning to celebrate their accomplishments in London. Twenty-four swimmers were there, including Michael Phelps. Many of the swimmers posted photos on their Twitter accounts, including this one of Schmitt about to meet the President, and one of Shannon Vreeland getting to shake hands with President Obama. This has been a regular occurrence at the White House for decades, with each sitting President hosting the event shortly after the conclusion of the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Clement Lefert announced his retirement today in an article by Reuters, saying he did not feel he could earn a decent living as a professional swimmer in France. This announcement means Lefert is not pursuing the Olympic waiver he could have used to compete this collegiate season for the University of Southern California, where he helped the Trojans earn big points at the NCAAs. Lefert sat out last season to prepare for the French Olympic Trials, where he made the Olympic team and went on to win gold in the 400 free relay and silver in the 800 free relay.
Down in Australia, Kenneth To made some noise in the 200 IM, winning the short course national title in 1:53.69. To will likely swim this event at the short course world championships this December, where he could challenge for a medal. To was a finalist at last summer's long course world championships in the 200 IM, finishing seventh.
This weekend at the United States Aquatic Sports convention, USA Swimming will vote on a number of proposals. One of the proposals would eliminate any coach-athlete sexual relationship, regardless of age, as long as the coach has a position of authority over the athlete. Also, the parameters of abuse as outlined in the rules will now include emotional abuse, which includes verbal abuse by a coach to an athlete and bullying between swimmers. Another proposal is the elimination of deck changing, or removing your swimsuit on deck in public, at swim meets.