The Team Behind The Scene: Chris Barry

Photo Courtesy: Grace Schwiederek

Commentary by Trina Sanyal, Swimming World Intern 2016 CeraVe Invitational

Chris Barry, the meet referee of the BAC CeraVe invitational, is perhaps the most energetic person I have ever met. His unwavering enthusiasm and vitality radiates off of him and transfers like magic to every person he talks to. Barry’s job is to essentially oversee everything and he is the perfect man for the job.

Before every meet, Chris Barry must coordinate stroke briefings and time briefings. This job essentially means guiding volunteers, staff, and competitors through regulations. While he worked at the administration official table, he explained the complexities of the timing system.

He explained that he was responsible for facilitating the stop watches, in case the touch pad system or the plunger button did not work. His extensive knowledge of the timing regulations as well as his extensive knowledge on the ins and outs of tournament regulations, proved him to have mastered the level of detail necessary for managing such a large event. This comes as no surprise since Mr. Barry has been a meet referee for 10 years.

Before speaking with Mr. Barry, I caught up with a few other officials during the afternoon session, like John Gurkovich who was managing the Colorado Time System, Cindy Hannan and Amy Meisner who were managing the administration official desk, and Elaine Risotto and Paul Sabin who were in charge of sending any time discrepancies to the administarion officials.

My mind was further blown when I realized that Mr. Barry is responsible for coordinating with all of these people. Without question the job must become stressful, however Mr. Barry praises the volunteers and staff for their positive attitudes, and keeps his own upbeat demeanor throughout all the chaos that ensues.

Before our interview began, he even spoke of planning stroke briefing jeopardy and family feud with another volunteer member to make things more interesting. This is exemplary of his high-spirited attitude, which became more and more evident as the interview proceeded.

Mr. Barry, like most of the volunteers present, has children who swim as well. However, in this meet in particular, he did not have any children in competition, but showed equal if not more dedication to the event. Mr. Barry has been here all weekend, and without doubt truly believes in how important swimming is for both the parent and competitor community.

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Circulation and Operations Manager at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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