CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - From learning how to float to winning gold, this Charlotte swim club is putting athletes on the Olympic podium.
Swim Mac sent six athletes to Rio this year. Kathleen Baker, who won silver on Monday night in the 100 Backstroke, started swimming here when she was just 13 years old.
“Our goal when they come here at five years old and go through the program is that long term vision.”
Coach Terry Fritch told FOX 46 Charlotte that Swim Mac strengthens swimmers at every level, from swim lessons to the highest level of competition. That long term vision starts with the coaching - even they are Olympians! Head Coach David Marsh was selected to coach the women’s team.
Swim Mac 2016 Olympic athletes include:
Cammile Adams—200 Fly
Kathleen Backer—100 Back
Katie Melli—100 Breast
Ryan Lochte—200 IM, 800 Free Relay
Jimmy Fiegen—400 Free
Anthony Ervin—50 Free, 400 Free Relay
“There’s something about this pool, this team, it’s just consistent,” said Nathan Murray.
Murray started swim lessons at Swim Mac when he was 5-years-old. The backstroker competed at the Olympic Trials this year and is headed to start his collegiate swimming career at the University of Tennessee. His goal is to make the Olympic Team in 2020.
“I remember desperately cheering for Ryan in 2008,” Murray said.
He once cheered Lochte on, and now he calls Lochte his teammate.
“Those are our teammates - our Olympians. We share the same pool.”
Murray said having these Olympians practice at Swim Mac is inspiring for every swimmer, from beginners to the elite level. At Swim Mac, Murray told FOX 46 swimmers get to see more than what’s on TV - they get to see what it takes to be an Olympian every day in practice.
“You walk in and you see your hero,” said Murray. “And that’s pretty powerful.”