2012 U.S.National Team Alumni Reunion June 29 - July 2, 2012
It was a party from the start when this impressive group of 115 U.S. National Team Alumni athlete swim legends converged on Omaha for their quadrennial reunion at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming! On June 29th, a crowd of over 250 alums, family members and guests assembled to kick-off four fun-filled, action packed days of events and activities.
The upstairs party room at The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill threw open their doors to this rowdy group, anxious to get their party started! With the DJ blaring in the background and "Queen Elizabeth" holding court over the assembled group, the noise level escalated to near-deafening levels. The chaos didn’t seem to faze Mike Burton, Sid Cassidy, Katy Arris-Wilson, Troy Dalbey, Tony & Bev Montrella, George Breen, Mary Jane Parks, Rowdy Gaines, Wendy Boglioli, Bob Placak, Kim Macklin, Gary Hall, Sr., Susan Roy, Janice Dowd, Peter Rocca, Polly Surhoff, Don Sheff, Debbie Meyer, Sonny Tanabe, Dave Wharton, or Theresa Andrews who shouted over the din to chat it up with teammates, coaches and friends. Even with spouses, kids and guests in tow, the party lasted ‘till the wee hours of the morning.
Special guests for the kick-off party were USA Swimming Executive Director, Chuck Wielgus; USA Swimming Board President, Bruce Stratton and wife Patty; U.S. National Team Director Frank Busch and wife Patty; USA Swimming Foundation Board President, Bill Maxson; USA Swimming Foundation Board Secretary, Ron Van Pool and wife Jackie; and USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director, Debbie Hesse.
Day two of the reunion saw 180 folks reconvening for a behind-the-scenes tour of the CenturyLink facility. With this VIP backstage pass and Jack Jackson leading the way, everyone had the unique opportunity to go behind the velvet ropes, walk the competition pool deck and if lucky, catch a glimpse of a rising Olympic star working out in the warm-up pool. That evening we honored our ’52, ’72 & ’92 Olympic team members with well-deserved on-deck recognition just prior to finals. Stopping to say hello to everyone they knew along the way, it was a challenge getting Roque Santos, Karen Moe Humphreys, Nelson Diebel, Penny Taylor, Mel Stewart, Susie Atwood, Bumpy Jones, Summer Sanders, John Kinsella, Jenny Thompson, Dave Wharton and every one of our much loved Olympians through the bowels of the arena in time for their ceremony. ’52 Olympians, Barbara Stark Jordan and Jodi Alderson Braskamp would have missed the event entirely if not for the assistance of a couple of handsome military escorts!
A buffet lunch and team photos devoured the third afternoon of our reunion. With a hot sun blazing down and 100% humidity on the outside deck of Ricks Café Boatyard, our event photographer Melissa Lundie, dutifully, yet cheerfully photographed Mike Burton, Patty Caretto Brown, Casey Converse, Mike Bruner, Pokey Richardson, Jeanne Cunningham, Mike Austin, Donna de Varona, Carolyn Lewis, David Fairbank, Andrea Dickson, Sue Pitt Anderson, Maryanne Keever, Pokey Richardson and all the team members from the past six decades on-hand for this event. Commencing with ’48 Olympian Penny Taylor, dozens of team photos were taken over the course of several hours with Queen Elizabeth, who remarkably didn't sweat a single drop, finding her way into many of the photos.
The long weekend capped off with a big splash when a robust group of alums and special guests consisting of Pablo Morales, Jill Sterkel, Claudia Hernandez, David Sims, Lisa Hilger, Dan Stephenson, Dick Blick, Mary T. (Meagher) Plant and kids, Geoff Gaberino, George DiCarlo & daughters, Brad Horner, Katrina Radke Gerry, Dan Watters, Julia Gorman, Andrew Strenk, Karin LaBerge and hubby Doug Marshall, Brian Goodell, Bobby & Liam Hackett, Ron Karnaugh and many, many more, plunged into the competition pool for our Paddle with Pablo event. We truly appreciate Pablo Morales for hosting this signature evnt and to everyone who came out to help us raise funds to support our mission of saving lives and building champions-in the pool and in life!
Thanks to all who made the trek to Omaha to attend their reunion, it really was a great time!
Check out the photos below for a visual recap of the 2012 U.S. National Team Alumni Reunion. Or, click here for access to the entire online gallery of photos!
2008 Alumni Reunion
The USA Swimming Foundation hosted over 120 Alumni for the 2008 National Team Alumni Reunion. On hand to take part in the three-day reunion were alumni from 15 Olympic Games, 14 Pan Am teams, 13 World University Games, 10 World Championship teams, 10 Pan Pacific teams, seven Short Course World Championship teams and five Goodwill Games!