Swimmers Give Thanks

Swimmers Give Thanks

By Mike Watkins//Contributor  | Wednesday, November 21, 2018

This is the time of year to give thanks and be thankful. And while that can mean many different things to many different people, at the core is that we are all grateful for different things in our lives.

Following are what past and present swimmers and coaches are giving thanks for this Thanksgiving. 


Catherine Fox

“This year, I’m giving extreme thanks to my family. We’ve been through so much, and every single one of us has completely impressed me to see how flexible, open-minded and our ability to have a positive attitude about our situation. Our life has consisted of pulling my children out of a burning building at 3 o’clock in the morning, moving every single one of our belongings out of our apartment in three days, putting them in storage, packing up and moving in and out of friends’ houses for a few weeks, before we move to Belize Central America for two months. All of this has been an amazing adventure, gifting us with extraordinary life lessons. We have had so much gratitude for each other. We have found that the rock has been our family, and we’ve grown so much closer to each other in this process. It’s been wonderful to see how we’ve all grown stronger and deeper in love.”


Tim Phillips

“This year, I am extremely thankful what swimming has done for me. It has given me friends that will last a lifetime and has opened doors and opportunities that wouldn’t be possible without swimming.”


Bridgette Alexander

“I am most thankful for all of my friends, family and coaches who show an unconditional amount of love and support. I am also very thankful that I still get to do what I love as a professional swimmer.”


Michael Klueh

“I’m thankful for the gifts I continue to receive from the sport of swimming – family, friends and the tools to be successful in life after swimming.”


Tori Trees Smith

“I am thankful and lucky to have a supporting husband and such creative and talented daughters, Meagan, who is attending Kent State graduate school for textiles, and Samantha, who is swimming at Southern Methodist University. But I am so thankful my son, Clark, is recovering well from heart surgery this year. My family and the sport of swimming have helped support and motivate me throughout my life. For that, I am grateful.”


Jeremy Linn

“My wife and I just had a newborn baby on November 1st – Goldie Midland Linn. I am most thankful for my healthy, happy and growing family – also my new role as daddy.”


Katrina Konopka

“This year, I am most thankful for my family. Even though I am all the way across the country at school, they always make sure that I know how much they support me with everything. I’m also very thankful for my teammates and friends, and knowing that we always have one another’s backs.”


Zane Grothe

I am most thankful for my family. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today if I didn’t have them, and I won’t be going anywhere in the future without them.”


Cierra Runge

“I’m thankful for a new start, warm weather, support from family and friends and my new pup Moose.”


Kara Lynn Williamson

“I’m most thankful for the opportunity to continue to work in swimming – giving back to a sport I love through the Lead Sports Summit.”


Nathan Adrian

“I’m always thankful for my health and for the chance to do what I love for a living! I truly do wake up every morning excited about going to practice, and I think that is something I should be very thankful for.”


Jessica Long

“This year, I’m thankful for the people in my life who have never given up on me. My dad, Steve, who is willing to help me with whatever I ask. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him complain. My mom, who puts up with my 10 phone calls a day. And I’m especially thankful for my fiancé, Lucas Winters, and his kind heart and the life we are about to start together. He’s my rock. And obviously, my prosthetic legs and the people who make them so I can walk each day.”


Garrett Weber-Gale

“I’m most thankful for our healthy baby boy, Gideon, and a wife and family who shows never ending love and support to me.”


Cammile Adams

“I’m most thankful for the lessons the sport of swimming taught me. Now being retired, I’ve been able to take a step back and really reflect on the various life habits, like time management and goal setting, etc., that swimming taught me. I’m also very thankful for my swim family that continues to cheer me on outside the water.”


Mike Alexandrov

“I’m glad I had the support of my mom and dad in my swimming career when the going got tough as a youngster. They motivated me and pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone. I’m thankful that even when I wasn’t as happy about my swimming results I had the support of my mom and dad – especially my father, Plamen, who was my massage and physical therapist as well as my coach all the way through my swimming career. I was the most fortunate swimmer there ever was thanks to that.”


Rachel Komisarz Baugh

“I’m most thankful for the support of my family throughout my life. My parents were supportive but never pushed me or tried to coach me. They were always there cheering and were proud of me no matter the outcome of the race. I’m also extremely thankful for my amazing husband, Jeff. He has taught me how to be stronger and more confident in myself. I can’t imagine my life without him by my side.”


Emily Brunemann Klueh

“This year, I am most thankful for my husband, Michael, and my family. They are my biggest support systems through good and hard times. Also, watching Michael excel in medical school brings so much joy to my heart. I cannot wait for where this year takes us.”


Kurt Grote

“I’m most thankful for my family’s health and happiness.”


Anita Nall Richardson

“I’m most thankful for my health and the health of my family. Knowing what it’s like to struggle with my health for years made me recognize that our health is our biggest asset. Without it, we can’t be present for all of the other blessings.”


Tom Luchsinger

“I'm thankful for my family and friends. They continually step up in ways that I never thought a group of people could. They provide me with an outrageous amount of love and support. They make me laugh until my stomach hurts and provide me with a shoulder to cry on if needed. They encourage, guide and walk with me through this crazy thing called life. They challenge and push me every day to be a better version of myself. I honestly don't know what I did to warrant being surrounded by such amazing people, but I sure am fortunate. My family and friends will always be my Olympic gold medal.”


Misty Hyman

“I am most thankful for my husband, David, and our one-year-old daughter, Vivian. And, of course, our time in the pool together.”


Todd Schmitz

“I am thankful for family, friends, STARS and great health. I hope everyone gets to enjoy some time with people they care about.”


McKenzie Coan

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to go into the pool and work hard every single day. Looking at the big picture, I don’t think a lot of us realize how much of a blessing it is to get to go to practice and be given a tough set and be pushed beyond our limits. I also think a lot of us forget that coaching is often a thankless job that goes well beyond the pool deck, and I am so grateful for my coaches, Brian Loeffler and George Kennedy, who work day in and day out to make sure we have the tools we need to succeed. I am especially grateful to always have my family there to encourage and cheer me on in the stands. I am also thankful for my teammates, who feel more like family.”


Margo Geer

“I’m most thankful for…my family for their constant love and support….friends from all over who inspire me to be better …and my health, which allows me to train and compete to the best I can be.”



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