It was an exciting week in Orlando, Florida at the UANA Pan American Masters Championships. Last summer, I competed at the FINA Masters World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. That was an incredible experience that you can read more about here. This meet was a bit different, but still brought an international feel and the opportunity to meet MySwimPro community members from around the world.
Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) was formed in 1948 during the Olympic Games in London. UANA is an organization with the purpose of organizing events and programming for aquatic sports in the Western Hemisphere. U.S. Masters Swimming, the national governing body for adult swimming in the United States, bid for and was awarded the Championship to be hosted at the YMCA Aquatic Center on the legendary International Drive in Orlando, Florida.
The competition spans 19 days, bringing adult participants and their families from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Canada and the USA to Orlando, Florida! Over 2,500 athletes from over 40 national federations are represented at these championships.
The Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center located in Orlando, Florida is one of the largest indoor competitive swimming facilities in the southeastern USA with a 50 meter by 25 yard natatorium, a separate 25 meter by 25 yard diving well and a 25 yard teaching pool.
Pan Ams is contested in the 50m pool distance with the 25m pool used for warmup and cooldown. The swimming competition itself spans over 8 days and because there are only a few events raced on any given day, the warmup pool never felt too crowded to get a proper warmup in before racing.
“It is an honor for the Central Florida YMCA to host The UANA Pan American Masters Championships,” says Central Florida YMCA Vice President Rowdy Gaines.
“We recognize the prestige of hosting this international event and our Masters teams, corporate partners, and our incredible volunteers are so excited to welcome the world of Masters Aquatics to Orlando, Florida.”
This international competition brings together swimmers and industry leaders from all over the world. We all competed in the meet, and hosted another amazing Meetup for our Community Members!
Read More about the MySwimPro Pan Ams Meetup in Orlando
We had the opportunity to meet with the 2019 FINA World Championships organizing committee. The 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea will bring together nearly 10,000 athletes from around the world. After attending the 2017 FINA Masters World Championships in Budapest, Hungary – this event is going to be amazing!
We also had the opportunity to speak with a number of athletes competing in the competition. You can checkout some interviews on the #AskASwimPro Show below:
Brazil Masters 🇧🇷(Pan American Natação Master)
- Felipe Rosa Messias (@coach_messias)
- Estefania Milanez (@estefaniamilanez)
- Thiago Sickert (@tssickert)
“Acredito que é uma experiência muito boa. Como falei, em relação a principalmente o master, tem pessoas aqui com objetivos diferentes. A gente se dá por vencido, porque está muito velho e acha que não é capaz de fazer algumas coisas. Tem gente aqui, por exemplo, em cadeira de rodas e cai na piscina e nada. Então, o meu recado, é você acreditar mais em você mesmo”. – Felipe Rosa Messias
“Para mim, esta competição master tem uma energia incrível, não sei como explicar. Você conhece várias pessoas diferentes, você faz amigos… e quando você não nada bem, você consegue encontrar uma alegria, uma energia em outras partes; Você vê cada pessoa se superando, as pessoas mais velhas superando cada desafio. Então acho que não tem por quê não vir para uma competição desta. É uma energia incrível. Todo mundo deveria participar. Sentir isso. E é isso. Cada um fazendo seu desafio e se superando a cada dia”. – Estefania Milanez
Chris Rojas 🇵🇦 (Panama)
Chris is a masters swimmer and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of AquaLabs and in this interview details how he trained in an endless pool in the months leading up to the Pan American Masters Championships. Chris also discusses the impact of teaching kids how to swim in Panama and how swimming can be a form of meditation.
Dale Neuburger, President of UANA
Dale Neuburger is the Vice President of FINA (International Federation for swimming) and serves as the President of UANA (Union Americana de Natacion). He is also the Director of TSE Consulting with a client list that includes the United States Olympic Committee and 22 of its National Governing Bodies. He was Assistant Chef de Mission for the U.S. Olympic delegation in Athens and President of United States Aquatic Sports.
“Companies like MySwimPro are creating technological advances for swimmers that were never there before. It gives athletes a lot of feedback and information that helps swimmers continue to be in the sport and swim faster and longer.” – Dale Neuburger, Vice President of FINA
Stay tuned for more coverage from the 2018 Pan American Masters Championships!