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Life after college, the Olympics, and the world championships

  • Swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will now be training in Charlotte, North Carolina under the watchful eyes of David Marsh, the head elite coach and chief executive officer (CEO) of the United States Olympic Committee Center of Excellence with SwimMAC Carolina. TNG FILE PHOTO

Courtesy of the Florida Swim Network

Published: Sep 04, 2013

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Swimming sensation Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will now be taking her talents from South Beach to the confines of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Bahamian multi-national record holder graduated from Auburn University just prior to the London Olympics last year, represented The Bahamas at those same Olympics, and then most recently at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain, this year. Vanderpool-Wallace is now ready for her next challenge in her life - to go into full-time training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She will be under the watchful eyes of former Auburn swim coach David Marsh, who is now the Head Elite Coach and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the United States Olympic Committee Center of Excellence with SwimMAC Carolina. When asked about how this union came about, Vanderpool-Wallace replied: “I talked to Dave and said I need a place to train and he said come on down.” Speaking with Marsh about Vanderpool-Wallace, he said: “Arianna is an incredible competitor and dedicated professional. She will do well here.”

At the world championships, after just getting back in the water on May 20, Vanderpool-Wallace was a little apprehensive about her expectations. However, she actually did quite well with only doing one-a-day practices since May 20, and was pretty close to her best times.

“After swimming that close to my best times after the past few months has helped me realize what my body can actually do, so I am excited about training,” she said.

Vanderpool-Wallace swam times of 25.15 seconds and 54.42 seconds in the 50 and 100-meter (m) freestyle events respectively, just down from her national record times of 24.64 and 53.73 seconds, both done at the London Olympics last year. She failed to make the final in both events at the worlds, finishing 15th and 10th respectively.

The future for Vanderpool-Wallace looks good, although there are always hurdles. Funding a world-class athlete, to allow for the proper training, nutrition, physiological, mental and recovery items needed, costs money. Vanderpool-Wallace gets a stipend from the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC), and is also sponsored by the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), but more funding is always needed to get the best possible outcome. Marketing swimming and increasing public relations more may just be the answer.

Being a former Bolles School swimmer, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion at Auburn, and a two-time Olympian is just the beginning for Vanderpool-Wallace. She is expected to be a threat for many years to come.

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