HBO Real Sports Feature - USA Artistic Swimming Response
by USA Artistic Swimming
On Tuesday evening HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel aired a segment on artistic swimming. The piece focused on the increasing athleticism of the sport and the physical, mental and/or emotional challenges that athletes may face. We commend the courage of the athletes who participated and who have brought these issues to our attention in the past to enact change. It is through listening and learning that we can impact the present and future of sports.
In a collaborative effort with our athletes, coaches and many committed members, the USA Artistic Swimming Board of Directors and national office have focused significant resources to address all issues pertaining to athlete health and safety with the goal of improving the well-being of all of our athletes, including increased professional mental health support for our national team athletes, training and education for our coaches and development of reporting mechanisms to share concerns. This high level of care for our community and athlete-first philosophy starts at the top with our national team program and is our organization's standard for all of our member clubs.
A task force composed of athlete representatives, the BOD, office staff and licensed professions have worked diligently to assess issues and create change. Protections against mental, physical and emotional abuse have been created through stronger bylaws, enhanced policies and procedures, dedicated education efforts, and the athlete bill of rights. Our goal is to be the most inclusive, transparent and safest sports organization in the world and that goal will always motivate and guide USAAS leadership and membership to be proactive in our approach to athlete safety.
If any member of USAAS is experiencing issues with safety, education resources and reporting channels can be found here https://www.usaartisticswim.org/safe-sport-resources. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 9-8-8 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are a USAAS member in need of mental support reach out to the USAAS national office or find resources here.