The Week That Was: Swimming Community Comes Together To Support Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

This week swimmers and teams from both Houston and across the country have come together to help provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, organizing donations and fundraising drives. Read below to see how you can donate to these efforts as well as the biggest news stories from the week.

The Week That Was #5 – Hoogenband, Thorpe Reunite In Sydney

Van den Hoogenband no date by Bill Collins

Photo Courtesy: Bill Collins

Swimming legends Pieter van den Hoogenband and Ian Thorpe reunited in Sydney this week, 17 years after their showdown in the 200 free. Van den Hoogenband returned to Sydney for a Dutch documentary project and spent much of the day with his old Australian rival. The Dutchman has strong connections to Australia, with his former coach Jacco Verhaeren now serving as the National Head Coach for Swimming Australia. Both Thorpe and Hoogenband have moved in to sports commentary in their retirement, and both expressed their desire to see the 100 freestyle world record, once held by Hoogenband, to go down in the near future. “The world record in the 100 freestyle is very important and I am not happy that it’s from the (polyurethane) suit era,” van den Hoogenband said. “I want the best swimmer in the world to be the world record-holder…I think it’s about time someone broke the world record and we closed the whole page on the shiny suits.” You can read the original report from The Australian here.

The Week That Was #4 – USA Swimming Announces 2017-2018 National Junior Team

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week USA Swimming named the members of the 2017-18 National Junior Team, one week after naming the 2017-18 USA National Team. In total, 67 athletes were named to the roster for the upcoming year. In order to be named to the National Junior Team, athletes must be age 18 or under by Sept. 1, 2017. Mitch Dalton, the National Junior Team Director of USA Swimming, commented on the strength of this year’s roster: “Combined with the 14 athletes who made the National Team as high schoolers, the National Junior Team honorees are a credit to the amazing work being done by our tremendous club coaches and the programs that place an emphasis on competitive excellence.” You can view the women’s roster and the men’s roster on USA Swimming’s website.

The Week That Was #3 – Naval Academy Announced As Host For Inaugural CSCAA National Invitational

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Photo Courtesy: ECAC Sports Twitter

The United States Naval Academy was announced as the host this week for the Inaugural CSCAA National Invitational Championships (NIC). The meet, which was created by the CSCAA to provide more opportunities for post-season competition among Division I swimmers and divers, will take place from March 8-10, one week before women’s NCAAs and two weeks before men’s NCAAs. To qualify for the meet, swimmers must have achieved a ‘B’ cut standard in their event or have won their respective conference championship title. Joel Shinofield, the Executive Director of the CSCAA, explained this as a way to match post-season opportunities to the increase in men’s and women’s NCAA swimming and diving programs across the country. You can read more about the NIC meet, including who would have qualified from respective teams last year, here.

The Week That Was #2 – Police Issue Warrant For Brazilian Olympic Committee President

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brazil fans wave flags during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

Brazilian police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Carlos Nuzman, the Brazilian Olympic Committee President. A warrant was also issued for Nuzman’s associate, Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho. The warrant is based on charges that Nuzman and Filho were involved in a bribery scandal related to the awarding of the 2016 Olympic Games. Rio governor Sergio Cabral has also been implicated in the bribery case through collaborations with the man known as “King Arthur”. Nuzman was a former member of the International Olympic Committee and is just one of eleven people for whom warrants were issued for alleged bribes related to the awarding of the 2016 Olympics. You can read more about the story as it appeared in the Associated Press by clicking here and from the Sports Integrity Initiative by clicking here.

The Week That Was #1 – Swim Community Helps To Support Harvey Victims

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Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

With Hurricane Harvey leaving much of Houston and the surrounding areas devastated, the swimming community is reaching from across the country to help in the relief effort. Olympian Cammile Adams, who was born and raised in Houston and recently moved back to the city, has organized a donation drive for swimming equipment. “Obviously I wanted to do something to give back to all these families, and being in the swimming world, I thought, ‘How many swimmers have been displaced?’” Adams said. “There’s a lot.” Adams is also joining forces with fellow Olympian Allison Schmitt to hold a fundraising event, “Race an Olympian,” on September 24 at Westside High School. Kingwood High School alum Laura Ledlow Fine has also started a fundraising effort to restore the KHS pool, while LSU’s swimming and diving program has also donated gear to the University of Houston swim team. You can donate to Adams’ event by contacting contactcammile@gmail.com, and to the KHS swim team by clicking here.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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