July 2016
The 2016 U.S. National Team Alumni Reunion was a blast!  Aren't you glad you came? We're glad you did!

With 127 alums, plus 93 family, friends and guests, the four-day fun-filled get-together was packed with more than 220 in attendance! We hosted a total of 98 Olympians representing Olympic years beginning in 1948 through 2004. Arriving in full force were 1956, 1976 and 1996 Olympic team members celebrating their 20, 40 and 60-year anniversaries. Congrats to all of you!  1976 Olympians made up the largest group with the women taking a starring role as USA Swimming released the documentary film, The Last Gold . This movie is proving to be even more prophetic as we near Rio with the Russian Olympic Team's attendance hanging in the balance due to doping violations.  If you have not seen this dramatic feature film, you can catch it Monday, August 1 st at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).   
U.S. Olympic Trials entertained us all, but connecting with old friends was the highlight.  Everyone got their big  John Naber hug.  I got mine, and, after a 20-year stretch, I got to hug and thank my old butterfly coach, 1976 Olympic Champion  Matt Vogel Love you, Matt!   No reunion would be complete without seeing the  Furniss brothers,  Steve and  Bruce . They are truly swimming royalty, and if you work in swimming, Steve's the best mentor you could imagine with five-plus decades of service to the sport.   
 
It was great to see  Karin LaBerge , 1980 Olympian, who will apparently stay young and beautiful forever. I could not look at my Facebook newsfeed during Trials without seeing her photos of  David Sims, Tracy Caulkins, Brian Goodell , and so many other alums. Karin's a one-woman digital media empire!
 
From the 1990s, it was wonderful to see  Melanie Valerio Thomas , 1996 Olympic gold medalist. She's been on a media swim tour this summer, supporting the  Last Gold at the LA Film Festival and attending Olympic Trials. 1992 Olympian,  Dr. Ron Karnaugh attended and swam in the Olympic Trials pool with his two young daughters. Ron continued his elite career through med-school and he's now a world-renowned pain-specialist. His x-ray guided needle procedures have enabled thousands of patients to avoid surgery. G reat seeing you, Ron!
 
Many thanks to all alumni who attended the 2016 Reunion!  Please stay connected and share your ongoing personal and swim news on the USA National Team Alumni Facebook Group Page.

Reunion photos will be available soon!





Upcoming Events - Atlanta in September & NYC in November

The Foundation is headed to Atlanta, GA from September 20 - 24
for the United States Aquatics Sports Convention. Stop by our booth to say hello and join us for our annual Celebration Luncheon. And, if you're a Champions Club member you'll receive a special recognition pin!   Click here for details.

Up next after the USAS Convention are the 13th Annual Golden Goggle Awards and Silent Auction on Monday, November 21. This
year we're headed to the Big Apple to celebrate the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team at the New York Marriott Marquis. U.S. National Team Alumni receive a special discounted rate of $750 per seat. Regular price is $1,250/seat. Tables are also available for $10,000. Click here for event details or call Carol at 719-866-3235. 



Speaking of Golden Goggles, the USA Swimming Foundation is looking for items for its annual Silent Auction.  John Naber, Gary Hall,
Jr., and Rowdy Gaines have been contributors to this important fundraiser that raised more than $81,000 in 2015 alone! Do you have something you'd like to donate to the auction year?
Some items that have sold well at past auctions include: timeshares/vacations, event/sport tickets, food and wine items, dining, memorabilia, unique experiences, and artwork. We are always looking to add new and exciting options, so the sky is the limit, plus all donations are tax-deductible!  Contact the USA Swimming Foundation's Annual Fund Manager, Nicole Wilson to learn more!

On a final note, thanks to Jason Lezak for leading the charge of our
swim-in-the trials pool experience, Laps with Lezak. 

And to  Karin LaBerge, Bruce Furniss, Bob Placak, Melanie Valerio Thomas and Ron Karnaugh who supported the pool swim by treating their family members to this awesome experience, many thanks for helping us raise  $2,600 in support of our mission to  save lives and build champions -in the pool and in life!

Go Team USA!
 
Mel Stewart

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