Former U.S. National Team Member Shane Ryan Looking To Represent Ireland At 2016 Olympics

Shane Ryan
Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Shane Ryan, a former member of the USA Swimming national team, announced today that he is moving to Ireland next month to begin pursuing a goal of representing that country at the 2016 Olympics.

Ryan, who made the 2013-2014 national team by virtue of a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke at the 2013 nationals, made the announcement via his Facebook page:

I’ve been given the opportunity to train with the Ireland national team and work towards possibly representing them in the Olympics . It was a tough decision for me but I’ve decided that this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I’m moving to Ireland in May and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had such a great time here at PSU the last 3 years and I’m going to miss everyone. But I will be back in 2016, to swim for Penn State and to finish my senior year and graduate. If your ever in Ireland give me a call!

Ryan’s father, Thomas, is Irish, which gives the son the opportunity to change sports citizenship. Ryan will have to live in Ireland for 12 months and wait a year to represent the country internationally. The last meet Ryan competed in for Team USA was the Duel in the Pool in December 2013, so he is clear of that hurdle.

Ryan recently completed his junior year at Penn State University in fine form at the NCAA championships, placing third in the 100 backstroke with a 45.24. The year before, he was second with a 44.78. He is also a multiple Big Ten Conference champion and school record holder. His announcement means he will claim the 2015-2016 season as an Olympic redshirt year and be a senior for the 2017 NCAAs.

The 21-year-old’s best time in the 100 long course backstroke is 53.84, faster than the national record of 54.44 by Karl Burdis. He’s also a stellar 100 freestyler, with a 49.27 to his credit. That’s a tick faster than Ryan Harrison’s Irish mark of 49.49. His 100 back time is faster than the “A” cut for Olympic Games qualification, and he’s a few tenths shy of the “A” cut in the 100 free.

Ryan will arrive in Ireland shortly after the conclusion of the Irish Open championships, which starts Thursday in Dublin.


  1. avatar
    Lisa Greenberg

    Aaron Greenberg at Yale University is moving to Israel for a year in hopes of the same dream. Will be back to swim for the Bulldogs for 2 more years. He is a dual citizen with Israel.

  2. avatar

    Karl Burdiss swam collegiately at Minnesota.