#30MostSwimfluential: Mike Unger

of the USA swim team poses for a portrait prior to the Golden Goggle Awards Banquet on November 14, in New York City, New York
Photo Courtesy: Al Bello

Who is Mike Unger?

  • Currently the Assistant Executive Director of USA Swimming, he has worked six different roles with USA Swimming in 19 years, from Marketing Director to Chief Operating Officer.
  • Involved with every USA Swimming television broadcast since 1996 and worked “on loan” with NBC Sports for the past five Olympics.
  • From 2003-2006, worked as the Managing Director for the FINA World Cup Swimming Series as the primary intermediary between FINA and local organizers, broadcasters, and delegations.
  • Oversees all major events for USA Swimming, including the U.S. Olympic Trials as well as the Member Services, Times, Performances, and Information Technology Departments.

How has he influenced the swimming community?

Mike Unger is unquestionably one of the most influential people in swimming today and has been indispensable to the most major swimming broadcasts for the past 20 odd years. Unger has been responsible for television production of some of the most exciting years in American swimming, from Gary Hall Jr. and Anthony Ervin’s tie for gold in the 50m free at the Sydney Olympics to Katie Ledecky’s domination of the field in the 800m free in London. That being said, his day to day work for USA Swimming is his greatest contribution to the swimming community. Unger has had a hand in practically every facet of USA Swimming, showing a dedication to the sport that will be hard to match.

*USA Swimming and Speedo invited the swimming community to help celebrate their 30 years of partnership by voting for the “30 Most Influential People in Swimming Over the Past 30 Years.” Votes were cast through social media with the hashtag #30MostSwimfluential and the final vote came from a panel of 10 judges selected by USA Swimming and Speedo. All 30 nominees have had a powerful impact on the swimming community. Many are recognizable names, but some have remained unsung heroes of the sport. Swimming World will profile each swimfluential person over the course of the week.