Torri Huske Becomes First College Swimmer to Sign with TYR, Thanks to New NIL Rules

Jul 25, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Torri Huske (USA) after a women's 100m butterfly semifinal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network
Torri Huske competing at the Tokyo Olympics -- Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

Torri Huske Becomes First College Swimmer to Sign with TYR, Thanks to New NIL Rules

In one of the most impressive performances of this year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, 18-year-old Torri Huske dominated the women’s 100 butterfly, going out under world-record pace and setting an American record as she qualified for her first Olympic team. Six week later, Huske was in the hunt for gold in the event at the Tokyo Olympics up until the bitter end, only to finish fourth, one hundredth away from the bronze medal and just 0.14 away from gold. Later in the week, she would earn her first Olympic medal as she provided the butterfly leg on the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay, which captured a silver medal.

And now, Huske is making more history as one of the first swimmers to sign a sponsorship deal while maintaining her NCAA eligibility. Huske will begin her college career at Stanford University next month, but taking advantage of new NCAA rules that allow student-athletes to monetize on their name, image and likeness (NIL) rights, Huske has signed a deal with swimwear company TYR. Huske wore a TYR suit in her races at the Olympics.

“I’m really excited, and I could not be more thankful for this opportunity and for TYR’s support as I pursue my goals in my passion, and I look forward to a long relationship with TYR in the future. It’s very exciting that I get this opportunity,” Huske said. “I’ve worn other suits before, but at training camp in Hawaii, we suited up at practice one day, and in the middle of practice, I did a 100 fly, and I swam super-fast in the TYR suit. I wanted to try it out just to see. That’s partially the reason why I decided to swim in TYR, because I felt really good in their suit.”

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Torri Huske after winning the 100 butterfly at the Olympic Trials — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

While Huske is the first college athlete on TYR’s roster of sponsored swimmers, she joins an impressive group that includes three of her teammates on the U.S. women’s Olympic team, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Lilly King. Huske said that she began speaking with TYR about a deal before the Olympics, and she even got a recommendation for TYR from Ledecky at the Olympic team training camp.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Torri as a member of the TYR family,” TYR Sport CEO Matt Dilorenzo said in a presss release. “As TYR’s first NIL athlete, Torri will have the opportunity to represent the brand at both international and national level competitions and pro meets. A fierce competitor, Torri’s grit and tenacity aligns perfectly with our core company values, and her talent and potential is unmatched as we look towards Paris.”

The NCAA rule change allows Huske an opportunity not previously afforded to swimmers, to compete collegiately and represent a university while profiting off her likeness and her swimming success. After the 2016 Olympics, Manuel returned to Stanford and Ledecky joined Manuel on the Farm, and both competed collegiately through the 2017-18 season before choosing to go professional. King returned from Rio to Indiana University and swam all three of her remaining years of NCAA eligibility.

Each of those three won multiple gold medals in Rio, and all turned down substantial profits, between medal money and endorsement deals, to continue to swim in college. Missy Franklin faced the same dilemma after the 2012 Olympics, and she remained an amateur to swim two years at Cal before going pro. But now, Huske and her fellow NCAA-eligible swimmers — including Olympic and Stanford teammate Regan Smith — can profit where their predecessors could not.

Given the circumstances, Huske is understandably thrilled about the change. “Obviously, it’s really beneficial to me, so I really am a fan of it. I think that I’m very fortunate. I don’t know what else to say other than how lucky I am because it’s falling into place at this time,” she said.

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Photo Courtesy: TYR

Huske’s Olympic Experience

Jul 26, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Torri Huske (USA) in the women's 100m butterfly final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Torri Huske going off the blocks at the Tokyo Olympics — Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

When Huske looks back on her first Olympic Games, she will fondly remember the two-week training camp in Hawaii — “It’s not a vacation. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of training, but it’s also a lot of fun,” she said — and walking through the Olympic village and seeing the flags of different countries adorning the different buildings. In the village, Huske livedwith roommate Rhyan White and suitemates Lydia Jacoby, Claire Curzan, Catie DeLoof, Erika Brown, Katie Grimes and Bella Sims, and the group bonded over card games like Uno.

Regarding her performance, Huske is not upset, but getting fourth place in the 100 fly by one hundredth certainly stung and still stings. “There were definitely things I could have done better at the meet, but I feel like this will help me,” she said. “I’m happy that things happened the way they did happen, even though getting fourth, it obviously really hurts. But I don’t know if I would have it any other way because I feel like I took away so much from the meet and I learned so much that I feel like I will be even more motivated in the future.”

Huske then had four days off racing before she returned to the pool for the mixed 400 medley relay. The Americans ended up a disappointing fifth after they employed a different strategy to the rest of the field. Huske swam the butterfly leg and touched eighth by a wide margin after her leg, leaving Caeleb Dressel racing seven women but a whopping eight seconds to make up. Huske said that she did not feel like she was battling massive wake despite being so far behind, but she admitted she was completely in her own zone.

Huske was so zeroed-in that as she tracked Jacoby into the wall at the end of the breaststroke leg for the relay exchange, she did not notice that Jacoby’s goggles had fallen down into her mouth.

The week of racing in Tokyo was emotional and draining, and that culminated with the women’s 400 medley relay, where Jacoby gave the United States a lead with her breaststroke split, but Australia’s Emma McKeon closed down on Huske and star relay anchor Cate Campbell got past American anchor Abbey Weitzeil to win gold for Australia. The relay brought intense emotions for the U.S. foursome (that also included Smith on backstroke) a combination of joy in winning an Olympic medal (Huske’s first), disappointment in coming up short in such a tight finish and ending up just 0.13 away from gold and even relief that a long Olympic campaign was finished.

“It was a really cool moment. It was really emotional for all of us. I feel like seeing Abbey get so emotional right after she got out of the water was almost comforting, in a way, because I feel like we all felt what she was feeling. In a way, it was comforting knowing we’re all going to the same thing and we all felt the same way. We got second by 0.13, and that was really hard. In the heat of the moment,” Huske said.

Aug 1, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Torri Huske (USA), Regan Smith (USA) , Lydia Jacoby (USA) and Abbey Weitzeil (USA) react after their second place finish in the women's 4x100m medley final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Torri Huske (left) with Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby and Abbey Weitzeil after the women’s 400 medley relay final at the Olympics — Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

“I felt like, ‘What could I have done better?’ I feel like we all took a step back and were like, ‘This is amazing that we got silver. This is so cool.’ At least that’s how I thought. I can’t see the rest of them, but that’s how I viewed it. I wanted to go faster for the team, and I was kind of upset that I didn’t. 0.13, that’s nothing. I feel like I kind of had to take a step back and realize that this is a really amazing accomplishment, and everyone swam so well on that relay. And Abbey brought it home like a champ. She did so well.”

Now, Huske is on a break from swimming, resetting before she heads off to Stanford next month to begin her college career, with the support of her new sponsor TYR. She was able to connect with Stanford coach Greg Meehan while at the Olympics as Meehan was both head coach of the U.S. women’s team and Huske’s personal coach in Tokyo, while both were in contact with Huske’s club coach at Arlington Aquatic Club, Evan Stiles. Even though Huske leaves soon for the west coast, she admitted that she is a little behind on her preparations for the big move.

Meanwhile, Huske is fired up about being part of an exciting future for the U.S. women’s swim team. With 10 teenagers competing in Tokyo and only three years to go until the next Olympics in Paris, many of those competitors could be back representing the United States in 2024 with the valuable experience of racing through the difficult, pandemic-affected Tokyo Games.

“It’s really exciting for the future, just think of how fast this team is going to be,” Huske said. “These are the people who I’m going to be going on trips with in the future, and I’m so happy that I got to know them. And I think it’s so exciting for the future of swimming and seeing what we’re going to do. Because I know we’re all capable of going faster and that we’re still improving, so it’s very exciting.”

Check out the full press release from TYR announcing their signing of Huske below:

TYR Sport is proud to announce the signing of Olympic Silver Medalist and American Record Holder Torri Huske.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Torri as a member of the TYR family,” said Matt Dilorenzo, CEO of TYR Sport. “As TYR’s first NIL athlete, Torri will have the opportunity to represent the brand at both international and national level competitions and pro meets. A fierce competitor, Torri’s grit and tenacity aligns perfectly with our core company values, and her talent and potential is unmatched as we look towards Paris. ”

In 2019, Huske burst onto the swim scene at the World Junior Championships winning six medals: five gold, and one silver. Her success continued at the 2021 Trials, where she clocked a 55.66 in the 100 fly to punch her ticket to Tokyo in American-Record fashion. With a time of 55.73 in the 100 fly final in Tokyo, Huske narrowly missed the podium by .01, and was only .14 away from Gold. She finished the competition strong, helping the U.S. to a silver medal in the 400 medley relay final.

“TYR initially caught my eye a few years ago when I looked around and noticed that many of the best swimmers were wearing their suits,” said Huske. “I later realized that we shared a similar vision of inclusivity and that their ideals of growing the sport aligned with mine. TYR’s innovative technology felt fast in the water and I was so proud to wear it while representing the United States at the Olympics. I could not be more thankful for this opportunity and for TYR’s support as I pursue my goals and share my passion for the sport with others.”

As a member of team TYR, Huske will join sponsored swimmers including Olympic Medalists Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Ryan Lochte, Lilly King, Michael Andrew, Annie Lazor, Townley Haas, Melanie Margalis, Tom Shields and Kelsi Dahlia, as well as Olympians Nic Fink, Jordan Wilimovsky, Molly Hannis and Ashley Twichell.

Since its inception three decades ago, TYR Sport has grown to exist as one of the world’s most recognizable swimming and triathlon brands. Founded in Huntington Beach, California, the American company has garnered industry success for major technologies including the celebrated Venzo technical suit. Today, TYR has become synonymous with the most groundbreaking athletes in swimming and continues to be the choice of champions.

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