Industry News: The Race Club Expands to Brazil

MIAMI, Florida, March 3. THE Race Club, a swimming program founded by three-time Olympian Gary Hall, Jr. in 2003, is pleased to announce its first satellite program in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"It has always been my vision to expand The Race Club beyond the U.S. borders to further expand training and competition opportunities for elite swimmers of all nationalities," said Hall. "With its impressive history of turning out accomplished sprinters, Brazil is a natural choice for our first satellite program."

The Race Club – Brazil will be coached by renowned sprint coach Alberto Pinto, who has produced some of the fastest swimmers in South American history. Among the standouts he has coached are four-time Olympian Gustavo Borges, who owns two silver and two bronze Olympic medals from the 1992 and 1996 Games. Most recently he coached Cesar Cielo and Nicholas Santos to the gold and silver medals in the 50m free at the 2007 Pan American Games. Cielo also won the 100m free and swam on the winning 400m free relay at those Games, breaking the Pan Am record in all three events.

"Alberto and I have known each other for a long time and share a mutual respect and common philosophy when it comes to training elite sprinters," said Mike Bottom, coach of The Race Club – USA, based in Islamorada, Fla. "I'm excited about the partnership and the opportunity to formalize a shared knowledge base for the benefit of all swimmers."

Members of both the U.S.- and Brazil-based Race Club programs will be able to train at either location, benefiting from both head coaches as well as from training with each other. It represents a unique opportunity for elite swimmers to prepare for the Olympic Games by being pushed by the very same competitors they are likely to face in the Olympic pool.

"This is an exciting step for the sport of swimming and for the Olympics overall," said Hall. "I don't know of any other program that is crossing international borders and opening up knowledge bases to competitors. I think the challenge of training with the best in the world, regardless of what country they compete for, is going to raise us all to another level."

Hall envisions the Brazil partnership as just the first of what will be several satellite programs in the future. Member clubs around the world will implement Race Club programs that create revenue streams to support elite level programs that move away from the model that relies solely on philanthropic donations and age group swimming.

Special thanks to The Race Club for contributing this report.