As the 2021 Olympics come to a close, let’s take a moment to reflect upon the inspiring champions that have lit up our screens. Beyond competing, did you know that many Olympians take safety very seriously? It’s true! In fact, some Olympic swimmers have done some fine work that falls right in line with our readers’ interests. Let’s learn about how some noble Olympians talk swimming safety.
Seven-Time Medalist Amanda Beard Promotes Swimming EducationAmanda Beard, one of the most decorated swimmers, competed in the Olympic Games four times. When she’s not swimming competitively, Beard runs her own swimming school. During her time in the Games, she earned seven medals: two gold, four silver and one bronze. It’s safe to say that she knows a bit about swimming. Her students are likely in excellent hands. As we’ve written about many times, swimming lessons are crucial for water safety. It doesn’t matter how old a person is, it is never too late to learn how to swim.
Ryan Murphy Tells His Story of Drowning Danger and ChildrenSimilar to Amanda Beard, Olympian Ryan Murphy has become a staunch advocate of drowning prevention and education. Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children under four years of age. In this column, Murphy writes about the dangers children face in the water. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day, three children in the United States fall victim to the lethal dangers that are associated with water-related accidents. Beyond simple fear that this statistic may produce, Murphy offers hope. Drowning deaths of children are preventable. He too believes that swimming lessons are the answers. Starting to train early can help keep kids out of harm’s way. As he says in his column, swim lessons are the best defense against drowning, cutting the risk by as much as 88%.
Professionals Serving with a Purpose: Olympians Talk Swimming SafetyFinally, let’s talk about Professionals Serving With a Purpose, or P-SWAP. Here, once again, Olympians talk swimming safety and, you guessed it, swimming lessons. The National Prevention of Drowning Alliance reported that 88% of all child drownings occur with at least one adult present. That’s a scary thought! P-SWAP aims to reduce and eliminate many of these dangers. The group organized an event that featured 2016 Rio US Olympic Games Medalists, including Simone Manuel, Brianna McNeal, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, and Teddy Bridgewaters. Along with P-SWAP, these athletes were able to lend their voice to the noble cause of swimming safety. Drowning prevention is every person’s problem. With proper education and training, the risk of drowning danger can be lessened and even eliminated.
Swimming Lessons are a Powerful DefenseToday’s blog took a look at some of the incredible work being done by our Olympic heroes. A concern for drowning safety clearly runs deep for these athletes. Of course, swimming competency is a very basic but very necessary skill that everyone should have. According to the Red Cross, roughly half of Americans cannot swim well enough to save themselves from drowning.
These essential water competency skills include being able to:
- Step or jump into the water over your head;
- Return to the surface, float or tread water for one minute;
- Turn around in a full circle and find an exit;
- Swim 25 yards to this exit;
- Exit from the water. If in a pool, you must be able to exit without relying on a ladder.