Professor/Writer/Swimmer in the News

Most of you probably don't know that one of our members is a noted author (of this book as well as this one), climate scientist, and speaker. He is well-known in his field, but for those who swim with him he is just another member of the team.

Robert Balling is a professor at ASU who studies climate science and has published numerous papers on subjects ranging from desertification to urban heat islands to solar activity. He is an expert in his field and is a sought-after speaker.
Recently the Arizona Republic wrote an article about Dr. Balling and his views regarding climate change. While it did not mention his swimming, Bob is a regular with Sun Devil Masters and is a popular member of the team. He is the one who rides his bike home after practice!

Bob is another example of the wide range of people and professions represented within Arizona Masters Swimming.


2008 Polar Bear Meet

Before too long Christmas and New Years will come and go. 2008 will be upon us, which means we will be starting short course yards again!

The first meet of the year is the Polar Bear Meet, which will be held at the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center at the U of A. This is a great meet to start the year with, Ford Aquatics runs a well-organized meet and many top swimmers from around the state show up for this meet.

Of course, you will need to make sure you are registered in order to swim in the meet...

Even though you will not see real Polar Bears or icebergs, it can get a little chilly in the morning. Bring your parkas and warm shoes to this meet.

See you all there!


That's Entertainment!

We are now selling the 2008 Entertainment Book for a limited time. The funds raised by this program will be used to help Arizona Masters Swimming's marketing efforts.

There are $1000s in local savings in every Entertainment Book. To use your Entertainment Book Discounts, just present your coupon to a participating business. Save up to 50% and get 2-for-1 deals at top restaurants, shops, attractions, sporting events and more.

Every Entertainment Book comes with a complimentary membership card. Simply present your card at select fine dine restaurants, hotels, and car rentals to enjoy even more savings!

In addition to Entertainment Book coupons, you'll find members-only online deals and exclusive discounts on Entertainment.com. You can also print coupons right from your computer when you want it!

Click here to go to our group page to order your book. You can choose from over 100 markets, which means you can order a book for friends and relatives in other states!

The Entertainment Book makes a perfect gift for anybody on your shopping list so keep it in mind for the holiday season. But get your order in soon, the 2008 Entertainment Book will only be available for another couple of months.



There is an Arizona Masters Swimming group on Facebook! One of our members started the group and it has grown rapidly. Not only that, the site gives us access to a social media site with millions of members. Those who are looking for information about our group will find us on Facebook.

Check it out sometime by clicking here.

Thanks to
Chrissy Guidi Nelson for taking the initiative to create this page!


Fast Florencia

One young lady achieved a trifecta at the Ron Johnson Invitational last weekend.

Florencia Szigeti of Sun Devil Masters broke the state records in the 50, 100 and 200 meter free with her FINA Masters ranked times of 27.38, 59.22 and 2:10.54.

If her name sounds familiar, it could be from her days as a swimmer at

...or perhaps you remember her representing Argentina in the Olympics.

Either way, she had some memorable performances. Well done Florencia!


Thanks Vets!

There is a lot to blog about over the next few days. Before we do that though, let's take a moment to remember our veterans that allow us to live in a free country.

We enjoy the fruits of liberty because of their service. Let's honor their service and remember how precious the gift of freedom is.


Olympic Flame still Burns for Champion Janet Evans

The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. What sports fan can forget the old network Olympic promos showing the defeated skier helicoptering out of control off the deck of the alpine jump? And what swim fan could keep a dry eye in 1996 when watching swimming legend Janet Evans pass the Olympic Torch in Atlanta’s opening ceremonies to the greatest champion of all time, Muhammed Ali?

Hours ago in Tucson, I had the privilege of meeting Janet Evans and listening to her speak about her rise to Olympic fame and the hard lessons she learned along the way. The five-time Olympic medalist retired from swimming after her third Olympics in 1996. Though she came home without a medal that year, she came home feeling like a champion for the first time. Today, she champions the cause of being a champion by inspiring audiences of business people and young swimmers alike.

It took Evans three Olympics to know the difference between being a winner and being a champion. A champion, she says, is someone who does their best and is proud of the results. A champion, she says, never allows themselves to be hurt by another person’s words. A champion, she says, is someone who can draw from personal experiences to become an inspiration to others.

Janet quit the sport of swimming after a disappointing second Olympic games in 1992, from which she came home with “only”one gold and one silver. The gold she had won handily with a five-second lead in the 800 free. The media’s response: “Why were you slower than in 1988?” When she was out-touched in the final two meters in the 400, she kicked herself for not having listened to her coach’s advice before the race, and couldn’t even look at her medal for years. In Janet’s words, she hadn’t “retired” from the sport, as retirement is something one does with grace. She had quit. Or in swimmer speak, thrown in the towel. She was lured back to the sport only by her coach’s challenge that she needed to learn how to become a champion. Over the next four years, she retrained her mind to focus on working hard and enjoying the journey vs. just winning.

For Janet, the most memorable moment as an Olympian had nothing to do with bringing home four golds and a silver; it was having the honor of carrying that torch in Atlanta before her peers and a billion viewers. It was an honor she accepted reluctantly, afraid the run might strain her legs and prevent her from peak performances during her events. She worried about falling and catching the stadium on fire. Suddenly, the moment came when Evander Holyfield was lighting her torch. The eyes of the entire world were on Janet and the champion’s flame inside of her ignited. As she ran with the torch, smiling that big bright smile of hers, it was the first time, she said, that she realized she was only one of 10,000 athletes on the field who had sacrificed so much to be there. Looking out into the faces of those athletes, she realized the vast majority of them would go home without medals. Yet they were there, representing their countries, their families and their friends, just as she was. She had come to win. But at the moment, she realized in her heart for the first time, that being an Olympic champion wasn’t about winning at all.

Two days later, when Janet swam in the preliminaries for her favorite event, the 400 m free, she qualified 9th. Not good enough to make finals. The best she could do in the 800 m free was 6th. And yet Janet didn’t experience the agony of defeat as she had in 1992. Instead, she experienced the elation of knowing she had done her best, and she was proud to have done it. She had discovered a new-found confidence that she would carry with her for a lifetime. She had accomplished the goal she had set out to accomplish: She had learned how to become a champion. Nothing any reporter could say could take that feeling away. Janet was finally a champion. And she’s still demonstrating it today.


2008 Registration Begins

It's November 1, which means you can now register with USMS for 2008.

All you have to do is go here and download the form. You can send it in to our Registrar, who will enter you into the USMS database. A few weeks after you send your information in, you will get a card that will allow you to compete at any USMS-sanctioned event. You will also receive USMS Swimmer and be insured when you workout.

You will notice that our rates have not changed for this year! We have kept the overall cost the same, even thought USMS has increased their fee to $25. Our organization is in good financial health and can absorb this cost for this year.

So when you have a chance, get your 2008 registration completed and sent in so you will remain covered and eligible to compete.

NOTE: In a few weeks, swimmers will be able to register online and pay with their credit card. When this is ready, an update will be posted on both the blog and the website.

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