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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

USA Swimming's New Leader Has Open Water Experience

Photo courtesy of Al Bello; text courtesy of USA Swimming, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Upon the recent passing of long-time USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus, Mike Unger was named as USA Swimming’s Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Unger is unusual at the highest levels of swimming in the U.S. and among the 208 members within FINA because he has done open water swims before including some of the world's largest open water swims in Lake Balaton, Hungary.

Unger will oversee the 400,000+ member organisation headquartered in Colorado Springs including all USA Swimming open water swimming teams, activities, camps and events.

During his 24-year career at USA Swimming, Unger has served as Chief Operating Officer, Assistant Executive Director, National Events Director, Marketing Director and National Team Coordinator will overseeing all major events, including the US Olympic Trials, the Golden Goggle Awards, the Duel in the Pool and Pan Pacific Championships.

Unger has literally shaped the image of USA Swimming and its star athletes by being involved with all of USA Swimming’s television broadcasts since 1996 in addition to assisting with television production at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics and winning three Emmy awards as part of the NBC production team.

Unger also has close ties on the global scene, partly based on his service as the Managing Director for the FINA World Cup Swimming series and work as the key liaison between FINA and local organizers, broadcasters and delegations attending the World Cup competitions.

"Mike has always been responsive to the athletes and input from coaches," says Steven Munatones. "Every email to Mike or phone call to him have been answered promptly and with an intense desire to immediately and compassionately address the needs of swimmers or coaches. USA Swimming is well-positioned to carry on under Mike's professional and friendly-type of leadership."

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