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Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Support Teams Behind Getting Ready To Swim Fast

Courtesy of Mike Lewis, Hojo Coast, Tateyama, Japan.

Channel swimmers and marathon swimmers have escort pilots, support crews, observers and in some cases, dryland logistics and social media volunteers. Ice swimmers have seconds and a variety of other volunteers and officials who help them compete in cold venues.

And the fastest of the fast in competitive open water swimming also have a number of coaches, trainers and administrators who help them navigate their racing schedule at major international competitions.

Jordan Wilimovsky is one example of an open water swimmer whose support network of USA Swimming staff help him maximize his potential both in the pool and open water.

After winning the 1500m freestyle in 14:46.93 earlier at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Japan, Wilimovsky came back and finished second in the 800m freestyle in 7:45.19 to American teammate Zane Grothe's winning time of 7:43.74.

He has one day to relax and recover at the urban environment in Tokyo and then will head a few hours to the coast in Chiba Prefecture, east of the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo. But along the way, his support team helps him get from venue to venue with proper time for a massage, nutritional support, and warm-down swimming in pools and the open water venue. Bryce Elser, Lindsay Mintenko, Bill Rose, Dave Kelsheimer, and several more USA Swimming all coordinate seamlessly to make Wilimovsky's recovery as efficient and effective as possible.

"I have done the work [that enabled him to do his best time in the 800 meters and win the 1500 meter race] and USA Swimming provides us with everything that you want. They have a lot of experience with supporting the [national] team [swimmers with multiple events]," explained Wilimovsky.

"I will do a long warm-down [tonight] after the 800 meter, and then tomorrow morning, I will do a pool swim in the morning and then we drive out to the [10 km marathon swim] course so we can swim the course."

Undoubtedly, Wilimovsky will be ready to compete against the following competitors on Tuesday with an early morning start along the Hojo Coast.

Tuesday's Expected Men's 10 km Starters
* Nicholas Sloman (Australia)
* Victor Hugo Colonese (Brazil)
* Allan do Carmo (Brazil)
* Hau-li Fan (Canada)
* Eric Hedlin (Canada)
* Esteban Jose Enderica Salgado (Ecuador)
* Taiki Nonaka (Japan)
* Takeshi Toyoda (Japan)
* Scott Matthew (New Zealand)
* Taylor Abbott (USA)
* James Brinegar (USA)
* David Heron (USA)
* Mark Imazu (Guam, USA)
* Jordan Wilimovsky (USA)

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