USA Swimming News

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Scandary, Vetterlein to Represent U.S. by Officiating at Paris Olympics


The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of the sport of swimming. Countless individuals in the sport will spend years of tireless training and preparation in hopes of one day achieving the renowned accomplishment of making an Olympic roster.  

While American athletes will have to wait until June’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming for their chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games, two USA Swimming members have already punched their tickets to Paris: Officials Lisa Vetterlein and Kathleen Scandary.  

The Olympic-officiating process began with numerous swimming federations submitting a list of candidates to World Aquatics, from which the international governing body would select appointed officials from. When word came down from World Aquatics that Vetterlein and Scandary were selected, a feeling of disbelief set in. 

“Seeing my name in the mix of those from other Federations sparked an array of emotions, from being overjoyed to being honored, humbled, and then, a bit terrified,” Scandary said. She would later hop on the phone and call her American counterpart to see if she had seen the news. 

“Vividly, I remember the call from Kathleen at about 6:50 a.m.; Odd hour, yes?” Vetterlein recalled. “She asked me if I have a pink beret. I paused on that question a moment before realization began to dawn at what she was hinting at. 

“I had known my name had been put forward as a candidate for this position, so I was in a place of waiting to hear the selections made by World Aquatics.” 

Vetterlein was announced as a Starter, while Scandary was appointed as Inspector of Turns (Stroke & Turn judge). 

The Paris selection comes as a well-deserved honor for the duo, who have been serving in officiating roles in the sport for more than 50 combined years. Vetterlein’s experience began 20 years ago and features experience at international meets such as the World Aquatics Championships, Junior Pan Pacific Championships, multiple Olympic Trials, and the 2019 Pan American Games.  

Scandary started officiating 30 years ago after a simple volunteer request was sent to all parents at the club where children were swimming . That simple question snowballed into an officiating career that sent her to five Olympic Trials, two World Aquatics Championships (25m), a World Junior Championships and more. 

While the stakes will be high at the Paris Olympics, the duo has the same approach heading into the competition: Soak up the entire experience. 

“Surreal sums it up,” Vetterlein said of the opportunity. “This will be a lifetime experience and I will savor every moment.” 

“I look forward to the success of our athletes and feeling like I am, in a sense, part of Team USA,” Scandary added. “It will be fun to see those officials who I have worked with in the past and establish new friendships. In a broader view, I just want to take it all in. 

“One very important role for me is to help pave the way for other officials to achieve their personal aspirations in officiating.  What a ride, what a blessing it has been. I am truly grateful.” 

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