Tim Hinchey Outlines USA Swimming State of the Sport Report for 2021

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey gave his state of the sport report for 2021 and the Tokyo quadrennial, outlining the positives, negatives from the past Olympic cycles as well as a the aim for the next quad.

“The vision of USA Swimming remains to grow the success of swimming in the United States. It will take competitive success at the international level, resources to support athletes, coaches and clubs and public engagement with swimming,” Hinchey said.

One of the biggest obstacles during this quad has been the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t think anyone assumed we would still be tackling the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2021, but here we are, continuing to be as safe, fiscally responsible and realistic as possible,” Tim Hinchey said.”We will craft well-laid plans, and endeavor to ‘get back to business,’ while also being prepare to shift and pivot our slow climb.

“We feel confident in the return of our sport and in the work put in by those across our membership, but we know the road ahead will be long and patience will be key.”

Read the full report here

Hinchey said being good stewards of the financial side of things will be vital to the return of swimming post-pandemic.
USA Swimming released the average annual revenue breakdown for the Tokyo quad, that raised $35 million. Sixty-two percent of revenue still comes from membership with 15% coming from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), 11% coming from partnership marketing, 4% from events and broadcast revenue, 3% from the USA Swimming Foundation, 3% from investment income, 1% from merchandise and 1% was designated as other.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a previously identified concern with our 12-and-under membership,” Tim Hinchey said. “We must do better to make our sport more inclusive and welcoming, and the sport of choice for young children and parents.”

USA Swimming reported the organization is down nearly 60,000 12-and-under members since 2019.

“We have a steep hill to climb, but we are up for the challenge knowing that 9- to 11-year-old swimmers are our likely 2032 Olympians.

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Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

Meanwhile, the average annual expenses were also listed at $35 million.

That breaks down to 26% spent on the national team, 18% on insurance and technology, 16% on sport development, 16% on marketing, communications and partnerships, 15% on event operations, 5% on domestic and international development, 3% on business and administrative operations and 1% on foundation development.

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Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

“We are not passive in our projections, but rather continue to re-prioritize programmer member resources and service to ensure we are aligned with, and supporting, our stakeholders,” Tim Hinchey said.

That was highlighted in the way USA Swimming conducted its Olympic Swimming Trials. To make sure the opportunities were there, but safety during the pandemic was the most important factor, leading to the two-waves plan and a 50% capacity crowd.

That led to a seven-figure investment and loss for the organization, “but worth every dollar,” Hinchey said.

Hinchey also discussed the Keeping Athletes First Action Plan, a $5 million investment that aims to ensure a safe environment for all members.

“The new Quadrennial also provides hope and excitement, which we certainly don’t want to overshadow,” Tim Hinchey wrote. “We will be steadfast in our efforts to grow the sport through 2024 in very targeted areas, such as diversity, equity & inclusion, coach development, technology , revenue and performance.

“As we strive for greater inclusion within our sport, it is incumbent upon every member to create a welcoming environment, and we will lead by example.”

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