Olivia Zhang Selected as Assistant Coach of 13-15 National Team

by Alyssa Jacobs, USA Artistic Swimming

USA Artistic Swimming has named Xinya Zhang, better known as Olivia, as the assistant coach of the 13-15 national team this season. Zhang will work closely with head coach Ludivine Perrin-Stsepaniuk to prepare the team for the 2022 FINA Youth World Championship happening in August.

Zhang was selected for her successful coaching background in Arizona and proven track record of preparing her athletes for success. She has served as head coach of the Scottsdale Synchro club since July of 2016. When she took the position, her impact was immediately felt as she was able to elevate the squad to consistently higher rankings at national and international competitions. Through her methodology and coaching expertise, she successfully coached a swimmer from her club to win gold in 13-15 figures in a field of 382 swimmers at the 2018 Junior Olympics. Olivia has been known to instill a strong technical foundation in her swimmers. 
The club continued to develop and climb the rankings at domestic competitions. She is a two-time recipient of the USA Artistic Swimming Coach of the Year Award presented at National Championships after her swimmers secured eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the event from 2021-2022. Her 13-15 swimmers also secured two gold and two bronze medals at the 2021 13-15 Championship. Internationally, she took eight of her swimmers to the 2021 UANA Pan American Championship in Aruba where they competed as a club team and notched three first-place finishes and two third-place finishes.  
The assistant coaching position is not her first appointment by USA Artistic Swimming. In 2018 she was selected as the assistant coach of the Olympic Development Camp in Mallorca, Spain. There she had the  opportunity to work and collaborate with international elite coaches and former swimmers including Andrea Fuentes and Kristina Makushenko.

Athletes for the 13-15 national team are currently being selected through the trials process that will culminate in Irvine at the 13-15 Championship.

"I have had the pleasure of knowing Olivia for a few years now and have always admired her coaching skills. I am confident that together we will take the team to the next level this summer and prepare them to represent the USA extremely well," Perrin-Stsepaniuk said. 

"I am thrilled and beyond grateful for this amazing opportunity to coach the 13-15 national team this summer. I can’t wait to meet all of the talented athletes and work with head coach Ludi to make them become the powerhouse at the 13-15 Youth World Championships! As a first time national team coach, I am highly motivated to create a positive training environment to help each athlete succeed by not only building technical skills and athleticism to reach their personal best, but by also instilling confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and the value of hard work," Zhang said.

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