The 10 Most Impactful People In Swimming

Impactful People

Phoenix Arizona, December 2014
A Voice for the Sport


Our sport is blessed with great people. Some are public figures, others work behind the scenes. As appropriate for this time of year, I want to recognize 10 people who are making an impact in our sport. Thanks to the following people for their contributions and inspiration.

1. Matt Farrell. The chief marketing officer for USA Swimming successfully launched a national campaign to increase athlete membership with industry support. Farrell was able to bring industry rivals together to help finance swimming’s first marketing campaign with the belief that everyone in the industry wins with membership growth and retention. Swim Today!
2. Tom Ugast. The chief executive officer for Nation’s Capital Swimming in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland took over the devastated Curl-Burke Swim Club after its former owner was sentenced to prison. Ugast successfully rebranded the club, reshuffled the coaching deck and reignited passion that ultimately produced national champions, Olympians and world record holders such as Katie Ledecky.
3. Alexander Sienkiewicz. The chief marketing officer for has redefined Internet retail marketing through technology, search engine optimization, branding and advertising. The traditional swim shop business has changed forever.
4. David Arluck. The chief executive officer for Arluck Promotions has firmly established himself as the leader in athlete-centered swim clinics through his founding of the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour. Through consistent marketing, sponsorship and advertising, Arluck and his staff have created a revenue stream for the athletes he represents while promoting the sport nationwide. Brilliant!
5. Susan Woessner. USA Swimming’s Safe Sport director has worked tirelessly to not only educate the swimming community about sexual abuse, but also to track down, ban and initiate police proceedings to incarcerate those responsible for that abuse.
6. Robert Allard. As the leading lawyer representing sexual abuse victims, Allard continues to call for leadership change within USA Swimming without recognizing that the organization has initiated significant reforms. Allard’s wide cast of blame paints the entire sport as perverted, forcing the swimming community to defend its moral fiber instead of those who are true victims. Back off, Bob!
7. Tom Fristoe. The chief executive officer for continues to be the No. 1 platform for a swim club to manage its business. Fristoe was the first to successfully combine all the tools a club needs to manage membership, raise money, run swim lessons, collect dues and distribute information. Good technology wins every time!
8. Craig Lord. As a journalist for The London Times and owner of, Lord has been the leading watchdog on international issues in aquatics. His recent resignation as a member of FINA’s Press Commission, due in part to Vladamir Putin being awarded FINA’s highest honor, showed both conviction and character—two traits that must be applauded.
9. John Leonard. The executive director for the American Swim Coaches Association continues to work tirelessly behind the scenes, calling for better and cheaper methods for drug testing. Leonard has been the voice for swim coaches worldwide for more than 30 years and has more experience on matters concerning the coaching community than any other person in the sport.
10. Dr. Brent Rushall. As professor emeritus at San Diego State University, Rushall polarized the coaching community on his Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT) theories. His short yardage training theories continue to challenge traditional training methods, creating an experimental generation of young athletes.
Brent T. Rutemiller
Publisher of Swimming World Magazine

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012 Short Cut To Success?
by Michael J. Stott
Whether out of necessity or by choice, there are those who train short course for long course competition. Despite the obvious differences, swimmers can still be successful at either pool length.

020 2014 Swimmers of the Year
by Jason Marsteller
World/American Female: Katie Ledecky. World/Pacific Rim Male: Kosuke Hagino. Pacific Rim Female: Cate Campbell. American Male: Ryan Cochrane & Tyler Clary. European: Katinka Hosszu & Adam Peaty. African: Karin Prinsloo & Chad le Clos.

028 10 Best Performances of 2014
by Jeff Commings


010 Technique: Judging Walls Going Into Turns
by Jeff Commings
In short course competition, turns are one of the biggest factors in determining the outcome of a race.

014 Swimming Technique Misconceptions: Freestyle Straight-Arm Recovery
by Rod Havriluk
A common swimming technique misconception is that maintaining a straight arm throughout the recovery improves performance in freestyle. While some swimmers are able to improve performance with a straight-arm recovery, science clearly shows that the improvement is not, in fact, related to the recovery itself. Equally important, there are significant limitations to recovering with a straight arm.

041 Q & A With Coach John Bitter
by Michael J. Stott

042 How They Train Aidan Burns
by Michael J. Stott


040 Nutrition: Time Your Nutrition
Republished with permission of VeloPress from “Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes”


016 Goldminds: Find Out Just How Good You Really Are!
by Wayne Goldsmith

045 Up & Comers


008 A Voice For The Sport

031 Holiday Gift Guide

046 Gutter Talk

048 Parting Shot


  1. avatar
    Robbert van Andel

    This list is very American-centric. I would say there are lots of names out there that deserve to be on this list that are not American.

  2. avatar
    This is extremely accurate!

    And very glad you posted this! Especially Craig Lord. Truly a wonderful reporter and it’s in large part to his great character.

  3. avatar

    Congrats to the top 10!! What a great list to be on

  4. avatar

    David Arluck… lol