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The rise of swimming marks the beginning of a new era

Patrick Gurganus, Party Planner

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Swimming is one of the most popular sports yet many overlook it. Students do not realize that swimming is one of the most competitive sports and one of the largest recreational sports in the world. Parents are now teaching kids to swim; some parents make their kids start swimming at the young age of one to two years old.

Ten people die a day by drowning so kids are learning to swim at a much younger age than the past. Swimming icon, Michael Phelps, is influencing thousands of kids to get into competitive swimming.

“Phelps makes swimming seem cool,” Mohommad Ann, sophomore said.

Swimming and Diving is one of the biggest Olympic events with 950 people competing in swimming in the Rio Olympics last summer. Phelps, who is an American swimmer has 28 olympic medals including 21 gold medals and has won the most gold medals in Olympic history. Phelps has helped thousands of kids with the Michael Phelps Foundation and his charity allows for less fortunate kids to try swimming.

Competitive swimming may require the learning of different stroke styles . There are four strokes in swimming; freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.

Athens Drive has a swim team which competes in the winter, starting in November and ends in February. This year’s season was successful for the men and women of the Athens Drive swim team, with both mens and women’s teams making the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4-A tournament. Seniors Grant Meade and Quinton Meagher are both currently in the regional playoffs. Both are currently captains of the team.

“I am ready for the regionals… after that I am preparing for states and nationals” said Grant Meade, senior.

Chris Silver, a swimmer on the team, finished third in freestyle in the State Playoffs. In total, Athens Drive finished third in the State Tournament. The players train daily on their swimming skills and this practice has lead them to the top of the swim team.

“Swimming is so much fun, I’ve done it my whole life and it has become a part of me… Our junior’ this year could make the team great next year” said Meagher. 

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The official student news site of Athens Drive High School
The rise of swimming marks the beginning of a new era