COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, today welcomed Olympic gold medalists Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Stanford Swimming) and Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics) as its newest Ambassadors. The pair will join a talented roster of USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors whose focus is to champion the Foundation’s mission of ‘Saving Lives & Building Champions – in the pool and in life.’
“Simone and Ryan are amazing athletes whose impact in the pool, coupled with their passions for teaching children how to swim and their first-hand experience with the need to support our USA Swimming National Team coaches and athletes, provides an incredible opportunity” USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse said. “We are thrilled to welcome Simone and Ryan as USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors, and with their help, look forward to expanding public awareness of the importance of water safety and the life-saving skill of swimming.”
Over the past few years, both Manuel and Murphy have made headlines for their standout performances in the water. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Manuel took home four medals, two gold and two silver. Her first-place performance in the 100-meter freestyle etched her name in the history books, becoming the first African-American female to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming. Murphy, who set the current 100-meter backstroke world-record at the 2016 Olympic Games, took home three gold medals in the 100m back, 200m back and 4x100m medley relay. Most recently, the duo represented the U.S. internationally at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.
“I have long admired the USA Swimming Foundation for the impact it has made both in and out of the water,” Simone Manuel said. “Joining the Foundation as an Ambassador is an incredible honor and I cannot wait to be a part of the difference they are making for both children across the country and the USA Swimming National Team.”
“After having the opportunity to experience the USA Swimming Foundation’s impact during the 2018 Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 stop in San Francisco, I knew this was an organization I wanted to support and work with moving forward,” Murphy said. “I am beyond excited to be named a USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador and am looking forward to working together as we continue to save lives and build champions.”
Through the Make a Splash initiative, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide every child in America the opportunity to lean to swim regardless of race, gender, or financial circumstance. Most recently, the USA Swimming Foundation distributed more than $700,000 to fund free or reduced-cost swim lessons across the country and since 2007, has distributed $5.7 million in grant funding.
Through the Building Champions part of its mission, the USA Swimming Foundation supports USA Swimming National Team athlete success by providing financial assistance critical to training full time and continuing USA Swimming’s 60 years of competitive success.
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