Sponsored by Lane Powell

Olympics buoy swim clubs

| Print |  Email
Archives - October 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

PORTLAND Call it the business windfall of the Beijing Olympics and the swimming prodigy Michael Phelps.

While swimming clubs throughout the state gear up for the fall competitive swim season with tryouts and grueling practices, some are also fielding an extraordinary number of calls from people interested in giving the sport a shot.

“Since the Olympics, I am getting calls on a daily basis,” says Julie Greenaway, president of the Mount Hood Swim Team and program. “They watched the Olympics and got really excited.”

For swimming programs, some of which are non-profits, the recent publicity of the sport is expected to lead to a wave of new students and revenue to enhance operations. Statewide there are 68 teams and programs registered with Oregon Swimming, the local governing body of competitive swimming. “Oregon is a big swimming state,” Greenaway says.

At the David Douglas Swim Club in Portland, head coach Jim Bowe can barely manage all the phone calls. Hoping to rope in more students from the wake of the Olympics, he moved up tryouts for new students from November to mid-September. He expects triple the usual number of new swimmers this year.

“We try to take advantage of [the Olympics],” he says.

Typically, swimming programs anticipate about a 10% increase in new students in an Olympic year, says Bowe. Though “it seems even more this year,” Greenaway says.

Part of that’s due to the extensive prime-time coverage NBC devoted to swimming at the Olympic Trials in Omaha and the Beijing Olympics, says Jamie Fabos, spokeswoman for USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport.

But it’s also been the astonishing ability of Phelps, now a household name, who has catapulted the sport of swimming into the national consciousness.                   


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Fare Thee Well, Company Town

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Corporate headquarters are no longer a marker of economic prowess.


Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


Reader Input: In or Out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.


Money Troubles

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.


Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02