As an age-group swimmer on Bainbridge Island, Emily Silver had the chance to meet Olympic champion Misty Hyman at a swim camp.
She never forgot that moment.
Silver eventually went on to star at Bainbridge High, swam at California Berkeley and won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a prelim member of the 4×100 free relay.
Now the 27-year-old is doing what Hyman did — giving back to the swim community by interacting through swim clinics.
Silver has been involved with the Fitter & Faster Swim Tour, which is hosted by various Olympians and elite-level swimmers at communities and swim clubs throughout the country.
She’s hosted clinics with fellow Olympians like Chloe Sutton, Tyler McGill, David Walters and Peter Vanderkaay from Florida, Indiana and Maryland to California and Massachusetts.
The tour was founded by David Arluck of Arluck Promotions to inspire age-group swimmers and give them a chance to learn from the best. Arluck approached Silver at a USA Swimming event last year and asked her if she would like to be one of the athletes on the tour.
She jumped at the chance and has been hosting and co-hosting clinics since then.
Silver said she still remembers meeting Hyman, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist, at a swim camp in Arizona and it positively impacted her for years.
Now that she’s a former Olympic medalist, Silver is enjoying the opportunity to be a role model for the next generation of swimmers.
“It’s really fun, I like it a lot,” Silver said by phone from her home in San Jose. “They’re so great because you get to go interact with kids, face-to-face.”
Silver’s most recent clinic was in Ripon, Calif., a town of about 15,000 located northeast of San Jose.
“David Arluck has found a good niche,” she said. “These teams love having Olympians come (host clinics).”
Not only has traveling the country been fun, but Silver has also been able to reconnect with former Olympic teammates and meet new ones.
Silver’s next clinic will be with Vanderkaay in Severna Park, Md., north of Annapolis June 29-30.
On Saturday, camp participants, ages 11 and under, will work on their technique and learn to swim more efficiently with Silver and Vanderkaay in the skills and racing clinic. One swimmer will have the chance to have a private clinic with Silver as well. The Olympians will host a question and answer session for swimmers and parents while campers will have the opportunity to wear Olympic medals, take photos and autographs and receive a gift bag.
On Sunday, the performance clinic is geared toward swimmers 12 and older and includes learning how to swim fast in-season, peaking at the right time and tapering, competition preparation, nutrition and recovery and participate in a round-table discussion with Silver and Vanderkaay. A camper will also have a one-on-one session with Silver and all campers get a goodie bag.
For more information on Fitter & Faster Tour, go to fitterandfaster.com.