FINIS SIGNS 2X OLYMPIAN LIA NEAL
Livermore, CA (January 9, 2019) FINIS, Inc., the worldwide leader in technical swimming innovation, is proud to announce the signing of two-time Olympian Lia Neal. The New York native and Stanford alum signed a long-term deal with the leading swim brand that extends through the 2020 Olympic Games.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join the FINIS family. The future’s looking bright for FINIS. I could not be happier to be part of this team on its upward trajectory through 2020 and beyond.” says Neal.
“We are very proud to support an athlete like Lia,” says CEO and cofounder John Mix. “She has the character, work ethic and potential that we look for in every member of Team FINIS. Lia puts her whole heart into this sport and that’s what we need in our athletes—they are our closest partners in developing the best products in the world.”
Neal started her impressive career at an early age. She has continually excelled, nationally and internationally, since competing in her first Olympic Trials at age 13.
Neal made history on the global stage in 2012, becoming the first woman of African American descent to become a two-time Olympian and swim in an Olympic final for Team USA. As a star sprinter at Stanford, Neal played a vital role in setting multiple American records and winning national titles, finishing her career as team captain of Stanford’s 2017 NCAA Championship team.
Most recently, Neal emerged from World Championships in Hangzhou, China, with four medals, including a gold medal in the 4×100 alongside a fellow member of Team FINIS, Olivia Smoliga.
“I admire everything Lia represents as an athlete,” says national sales manager Keith Jizmejian. “She’s not only committed to improving her own performance, but also improving access to the sport. Lia’s values stood out to us very early on in the process.”
Neal is a major proponent for improving education and access to swimming in the U.S. and internationally. In 2017 and 2018, Neal led swim clinics around the globe, including in the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore. Further, she recently launched Swim Brooklyn, an initiative to raise awareness about swimming in her home community.
Neal is currently training with David Marsh and Team Elite in San Diego, California.
“We’re just getting started,” says Mix. “In launching the Rival 2.0, it was our explicit goal to make a suit that would impress the best athletes in the world. Lia joining the team is just one of the many indicators that the Rival 2.0 is that suit. Working with someone of Lia’s caliber is an exciting step for our team and we intend to maintain every bit of this momentum going into 2020.”
About FINIS, Inc.
John Mix and Olympic gold medal swimmer Pablo Morales founded FINIS in Northern California in 1993 with a mission to simplify swimming for athletes, coaches, beginners and lifelong swimmers around the world. Today, FINIS fulfills that mission through innovation, high-quality products and a commitment to education. FINIS products are currently available in over 80 countries. With a focus on innovation and the fine details of swimming, FINIS will continue to develop products that help more people enjoy the water.
USA +1 (925) 454-0111
EU +359 2 936 86 36
CONTACT FOR LIA NEAL
Cejih Yung, Agent
CG Sports Management
Swimming pools, which exploded in popularity a century ago, are supposed to be places to relax, but black Americans have long faced harassment and violence there.
The poolside confrontations keep coming.
This summer, a black boy was harassed by a white woman in South Carolina; a black woman was asked to provide identification by a white man in North Carolina; and a black man wearing socks in the water had the police called on him by a white manager of an apartment complex in Tennessee.
The encounters, some captured on video, have prompted widespread anger and resulted in consequences for white people involved. But they are hardly new: The United States has a long history of people of color facing harassment and racism at swimming pools.
Pools are supposed to be places to relax, but ever since they exploded in popularity about a century ago, they have served as flash points for racial conflict — vulnerable spaces where prejudices have intensified and violence has often broken out.
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Fotos de Satiro Sodré. @AnthonyErvin pic.twitter.com/SR8b3mx9XB— Coach Alex Pussieldi (@alexpussieldi) October 15, 2017
Ervin tweeted out what appears to be an explanation on Monday morning:My point is to save lives, and understand the imbalance. We all have our area. I’m a swimmer.— Anthony Ervin (@AnthonyErvin) October 16, 2017 Read more by clicking the link below:
During the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the world watched as Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event. Now, through Razor Aquatics Swim Team, coach Jamal Roberts has a goal of getting black kids more involved in competitive swimming. Like the kids he coaches today, Roberts got his start in swimming when he was about 11 years old while looking for an activity to do during the summer at his local recreation center.“We had a team with black children on it, but we were the only ones everywhere that we went,” Roberts says. “I wanted to be able to keep that type of thing going, while at the same time trying to see if we could get children from the Detroit area swimming at a higher level. I wanted to really see how far we could get kids of color in swimming.”Roberts started the Razor Aquatics Swim Team when he was just 21, while he was still competing on Wayne State University’s swim team.
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By Sherri Daye Scott
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