Posts Tagged “Olympics”



Posted by | January 9, 2019 | Black Swimmers, Swimmers

We simplify swimming through innovation, high-quality products and a commitment to education.


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.

Keith Jizmejian
USA +1 (925) 454-0111
EU +359 2 936 86 36

Cejih Yung, Agent
CG Sports Management

Comments Off on USA Swimming – Black History Month: Cullen Jones Determined to Earn Degree, Make Next Olympic Team

USA Swimming – Black History Month: Cullen Jones Determined to Earn Degree, Make Next Olympic Team

Posted by | February 27, 2017 | USA Swimming

BY JEFF COMMINGS//CONTRIBUTORThis time last year, Cullen Jones’ mind was fixated on Rio de Janeiro and doing everything he could to earn a trip to his third Olympic Games. These days, his focus has turned to the British Isles and the issues facing Ireland’s fight to remain independent from Great Britain.Just before a recent interview earlier this month, the 32-year-old Jones was dissecting portions of a play by the late Irish playwright Brian Friel for a paper he was writing for one of his classes at North Carolina State University. The former NCAA champion for the Wolfpack has returned to Raleigh not only to finish his studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in English, but to train for a shot at the 2020 Olympics after falling short of a spot on last year’s team.Getting his degree and getting on the Olympic team had equal priority for Jones when he decided last fall to stay in the sport.“I did a lot of soul searching after just missing the Olympic team,” Jones said. “It was hard. I felt like I had more in the tank. I had to look at myself in the mirror and ask myself if I wanted to make that commitment. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back.”The training atmosphere is decidedly different for Jones, who had spent the past two Olympic cycles with David Marsh and his elite team at SwimMAC Carolina. Jones is at least 10 years older than the college athletes he swims with daily, and the workload has changed dramatically – but in a good way. “I take it one day at a time,” he said. “I don’t feel a day over 21, and I’m going to treat it as such.”When Jones actually was 21 years old, he was making a name for himself as the 2006 Pan Pacific champion in the 50 freestyle and part of the 400 free relay that broke the world record at that meet. That world record marked the first time an African-American swimmer had set a world record, making him as newsworthy at the time as Michael Phelps. His status as one of swimming’s most revered athletes was cemented at the 2008 Olympics as a member of “The Relay.” When he won gold as part of the 400-meter freestyle relay in Beijing, he inspired a generation of minorities to dream big.At the time, he didn’t know how much of an impression he had made on young swimmers. It took a revelatory conversation with a friend and a call from USA Swimming for Jones to realize his place in history, and how he could help to do more. In the past eight years as the chief ambassador of USA Swimming’s Make A Splash initiative, he has seen firsthand how he has not only helped lower the drowning rate among minorities, but also expose children to swimming.“Everything happens for a reason, and I think getting involved with Make-A-Splash came at the right time,” Jones said.Though he’s been busy with his studies and acclimating to training with coaches Braden Holloway and Todd DeSorbo at N.C. State, Jones still makes time to travel the country for clinics. His most recent one was in Austin, Texas, during the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. It allowed Jones to continue to present swimming to those who might not otherwise know of the benefits the sport can bring. His schedule has made him busier than ever, and Jones said he’s had to turn down some of the many requests he’s received lately to host clinics. He said he knows how much good comes from just one clinic, which is why he said he wants to do as many as he can while balancing his studies and swimming.As much as his primary job is to teach the kids how to swim at clinics, Jones said he’s always learning something about himself at each one.“These kids inspire me,” he said. “When they do something they didn’t think they could do, it reminds me that (when I broke a world record), I was the same way. It helps me get back to basics.”It’s also given him some perspective on how instrumental he has been to not only motivate the current generation of competitive swimmers, but to inspire beginners to love the sport.“I grew up in a Baptist culture, and my mom was always telling me that I had to give back to my community and this was my way of doing it,” Jones said. “I understand it more now as I get older and hear more from kids saying how much they look up to me.”

Source: USA Swimming – Black History Month: Cullen Jones Determined to Earn Degree, Make Next Olympic Team

Comments Off on Hawaii’s Three-Year Swim Club overcame WWII-era anti-Japanese sentiment on quest for Olympic glory – The Boston Globe

Hawaii’s Three-Year Swim Club overcame WWII-era anti-Japanese sentiment on quest for Olympic glory – The Boston Globe

Posted by | October 20, 2015 | Uncategorized

For years now, we’ve been inundated with images of athletic rigor: “Just Do It.” It might seem hard to believe, but not so long ago conventional wisdom held that elite athletes were most effective when pampering themselves, not submitting to grueling workouts.

Source: Hawaii’s Three-Year Swim Club overcame WWII-era anti-Japanese sentiment on quest for Olympic glory – The Boston Globe

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