Sarah Gibson Named Latest Fike Swim Ambassador

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

World Champion Sarah Gibson has joined Fike Swim as their latest ambassador. The company announced the news on their website and social media handles on April 18:

A fifteen-time NCAA All-American, the former Texas A & M standout also maintained a 4.0 GPA in Biomedical Engineering and was named the overall CoSIDA Women’s Academic All America Winner in 2017. As a member of the U.S. National Team, she is a two-time Short Course World Champion as well as 2017 World Champion in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay.

So far this year, Gibson is ranked eighth in the 50 and sixth in 100 Butterfly among American female competitors. According to Fike, Gibson has done so under the training of Team Elite in Charlotte, N.C. She will be competing at the 2018 USA Swimming National Championships working toward qualifying for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Gibson explained why the company is a perfect fit for her:

“I am deeply honored to become an ambassador for Fike Swim,” she said.  “I was introduced to The Brick while visiting a club team near my relatives, and it was love at first kick set.  Such ingenious designs intrigue intellectually as they challenge physically, providing a perfect blend for swimmers in general, and myself in particular.”

Other Fike Swim ambassadors include Zane Grothe, Hellen Moffitt, Lizzi Smith and Zac Stubblety-Cook.

Q&A with Sarah Gibson

Provided by Fike Swim

Q: Who is your coach and which team do you compete for?
A: “I am currently swimming for Team Elite under David Marsh.”
Q: How did you get into swimming?
A: “I remember driving by the neighborhood pool on Monday nights, when it was set up for summer league duel meets, and asking my parents what was going on. They told me it was competitive swimming and asked me if I’d like to try it out.  I said sure, but soon found out swimming took a lot of work!  I tried to quit, but my parents insisted I finished the season.  “Mom, Dad,” I complained in exasperation, “I can’t even get across the pool by myself.” “Well, you won’t with that attitude,” my dad replied. “And after one long summer of fears and tears, I quickly found out I was at home in the water.”
Q: What is your favorite event? 
A: “My favorite event is the 200 butterfly. I know, sounds a bit crazy, but bear with me here. I started swimming the 200 fly the summer after my sophomore year of college because I wanted to swim something other than the mile at NCAAs. It’s always been something I personally chose to do, instead of feeling obligated or forced by my coaches, so it gives me agency. The bit where other people think you’re hardcore is a plus, too.”
Q: How many yards per week do you train?
A: “48,000-55,000, depending on the time of year and my out-of-water training schedule.
Q: What does an average set look like?

A: “My all-time favorite kick set:3 x [ 4 x 50s @ 1:00, +:10 rest then

[200 negative split, desc. by round

For the 200s, I aim to start around 2:50 and work down to 2:30. Some days that’s doable, others… well, it’s the intent that counts, right?”

Q: What are your 2018 competition goals?
A: “I hope to qualify for the 2018 Pan Pacific Games. Worlds this past summer was such an amazing opportunity.  I never had the experience of being surrounded by the best athletes in the world.  It was both inspiring and humbling.  I am excited to train every day, now that I know how far I have still to go.  It’s the greatest honor and gravest privilege I’ve known in my life to see my name alongside the stars and stripes, and it’s one I hope to repeat.”
Q: What are your practice goals to help you reach your race goals?
A: “I commit to implementing whatever technical corrections my coaching staff thinks are needed while maintaining the intensity I need to be successful from both a cardiovascular and a musculoskeletal viewpoint.  My philosophy is to never leave workout feeling anything but exhausted and fulfilled.”
Q: Favorite dryland exercise?
A: “I dance ballet, which combines strength, flexibility, and body control.  It’s also something new to me, so it provides a good mental flex as well.”
Q: Favorite post-workout meal?
A: “Chocolate milk. Love it, drink it every day, like a post-practice reward.”
Q: Swimmer role model and why

A: “Two, actually.  First is Breeja Larson, who took me under her wing when I arrived at Texas A&M and was really struggling to survive the new training regimen.  She believed in me when I couldn’t, and without her support I would not have remained on the team.The second person is Katie Meili, who inspires me with her work ethic and positive disposition.  She’s been a great asset in my transition to Team Elite and professional swimming, and her pursuit of law school while training is nothing short of amazing.  She is the kind of scholar-athlete I aspire to be.”
Q: Non-swimmer role model and why
A: “Michael DeBakey was a great medical pioneer, teacher and cardiovascular surgeon who advanced medical care for thousands of patients. I am inspired by his talent and ambition to help others as well as his interests and knowledge ranging across a broad spectrum of disciplines both within and outside of medicine.”

Q: Something most people don’t know about you
A: “I was diagnosed with congenital heart disease during my sophomore year of college. The first cardiologist I saw wanted me to stop swimming, but I found doctors willing to let me give it a try. A few weeks after my diagnosis, I qualified for Olympic Trials for the first time.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about doing swim clinics?
A: “My success as a swimmer is not based on natural gifts.  I struggled to get where I am today.  And I love sharing that message of success based on hard work and perseverance with developing swimmers of all ages.  And in working with all ages I get to relive each stage in my own development, rediscover the joy of swimming before it was a career, and hopefully help them avoid mistakes I made.  When kids walk away from my clinics I hope they take those messages with them and understand that anything is possible with enough determination and enough curiosity to keep questioning the status quo.”

About Fike Swim

Fike Swim Products was born when founder James Fike put a brick on top of a kickboard and transformed just another legs-only kick set into a total body workout felt into the next day. Since then it’s been our mission to create unique swim equipment with the single-minded goal of making you faster. We don’t sell toys. We create tools to help you reach your potential.

Fike Swim contributed to this report.
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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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