Category Archives: Emily Silver

Adrian to participate in Swim Across America in memory of friend, teammate

When Nathan Adrian returns from the Rio Olympics, he will have one more swim to complete although this one will likely be more emotional.

Adrian will participate in the Swim Across America for his friend and former California teammate Matt Benoit, who lost his battle with Ewings sarcoma in April. He was 28. Benoit was a 2006 graduate of Kennedy Catholic in Burien and California (2010, legal studies) and was a state champion in the 100 backstroke as well as a three-time All-American and USA Swimming Academic All-American.

Benoit was training to swim in the SAA event, slated for September 10 along the shores of  Lake Washington at Luther Burbank Park in Mercer Island.  Olympic swimmers started the event, and Bremerton’s Dana Kirk Martin and Bainbridge’s Emily Silver have both swam to raise funds. This is the eighth year it’s been held locally and monies raised primarily goes to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Last year the event raised more than $276,000 in support of immunotherapy research and pancreatic cancer treatment.

Bremerton/Silverdale breaks into USA Swimming’s top swim cities list

We may not be the biggest community in Western Washington considering who our next door neighbors are — I’m looking at you Seattle and Tacoma — but we did something else those two cities didn’t do this week.

The Bremerton/Silverdale area made the Top 20 of USA Swimming/SpeedoUSA’s Top Swim Cities on Wednesda50SwimCitiesInfographicTOP.gify.

Bremerton/Silverdale is ranked 17th overall for all cities with a population of 150,000-249,999. (Check out the graphic on the left. That’s us in the corner!! OK, OK, maybe it’s Seattle but I like to think it’s Bremerton).

“It’s amazing,” said Olympic Aquatic Club coach Patrick Hamilton, “it’s good to get recognized.”

The top city in the smaller category is Columbia, Missouri. It was ranked first based on its high percentage of USA Swimming members, top USA Swimming athletes and large number of fitness swimmers.

Hamilton said Kitsap has a strong swimming community — from parents to officials to volunteers — who make the meets work year round.

“I know our team, Olympic Aquatic Club, we host five meets a year which is a lot of work,” he said, adding volunteer parents typically spend 40-50 hours during the three day meets.

“It’s just a wholesome sport and the community has embraced it,” he said.

The top swim cities showcase what’s great about the sport of swimming, said Matt Farrell, chief marketing officer of USA Swimming in a news release.

“We want to invite people of all ages across the country to join the sport of swimming and we hope this list inspires more kids and families to get involved,” he said.

Bremerton YMCA head coach Marilyn Grindrod said swimming is beneficial no matter if you compete at an elite level or recreationally.

“It’s a sport for life,” she said.

Bremerton-Silverdale club teams include Bremerton Family YMCA, Haselwood Family YMCA Silverdale and Olympic Aquatic Club. Kitsap’s club teams also include Poulsbo Piranhas, Puget Sound Swim Club, Bainbridge Island Swim Team, Bangor Swim Team, and reaching a little further out on the peninsula, Port Angeles and Port Townsend swim teams.

We just missed the cut off for populations with 244,000 or greater, which would have placed Bremerton/Silverdale 13th in the larger category, the Top 50. Seattle is ranked No. 21 in the larger category, with Anchorage, Alaska, coming in at No. 19.Unknown

No other Pacific Northwest cities made the list.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, was once again ranked No. 1 for the second year in the larger category, followed by Durham, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut.

Ann Arbor repeated as best swim city, due in part to having the largest percentage of top USA Swimming athletes per population — more than 60 Olympians have come from the University of Michigan’s swim program and area club teams, said USA Swimming. San Jose-Santa Clara is at No. 2.

Each city is ranked based on an aggregate score in categories including the percentage of active swimmers and swim clubs, the number of accessible pools (Bremerton/Silverdale has three) and volume of top-level swimmers from the area. It also took into account the number of USA Swimming members, number of U.S. Masters (adult) swimmers, and the number of USA Swimming clubs.

California, with five cities in the top 17, and Colorado (four in the top 16) were the highest-ranking states. Cities in the top 50 had populations of 250,000 or more.

It’s pretty cool that Bremerton/Silverdale can lay claim to not only national champions, but also high school state champions, age-group champions, masters champions, and, of course, three Olympians in Bremerton’s Tara and Dana Kirk (2004 Olympics) and Nathan Adrian (2008, 2012). If we’re timages-1o include Bainbridge Island, then Emily Silver (2012) makes it four from Kitsap.

“We’ve had some amazing athletes moving up the chain,” Grindrod said. “When those kids were learning to swim they had a passion. They were smart and their parents knew something special about them.”

Speaking of Adrian, the San Francisco-Oakland area moved up to No. 3, which is where he resides and trains with California’s post-grad group that includes fellow Olympic champions Aimagesnthony Ervin and Natalie Coughlin. It’s also home to 10 percent of the country’s U.S. Masters swimmers, more than any other city.

Emily Silver with another Travel Basecamp adventure

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 6.19.33 PMI caught up with Bainbridge Island’s Emily Silver, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, a while back — you can read it here — and we talked about her travel adventures with Travel Basecamp, a reality documentary series about friends traveling the world seeking different experiences in popular destinations.

Silver’s latest episodes are available now from her adventures in Roatan, Honduras, a small island in the Carribbean. The crew goes scuba diving, exploring haunted caves and ziplining through the jungle. She is filming in Portugal this month, but I’m not sure when those episodes will be available.

Kirk, Adrian continue to win at US Masters nationals

This weekend is making me a reminisce a little.

Fourteen years ago I started covering swimming on the peninsula, just about the time that the sport really started gaining ground and national recognition thanks to a handful of swimmers from Bremerton and Bainbridge.

Those swimmers included breaststroker Tara Kirk, sister and butterflyer Dana Kirk of Bremerton, Helen Silver, backstroke, and sister Emily Silver, freestyle, of Bainbridge Island and Bremerton’s Justin Adrian, fly/free and eventually his brother Nathan Adrian.

It was an exciting time as I was able to travel to California for a week where the Kirks were attending Stanford and Helen Silver was at California, and we ran that story when I came back. The following year in 2004 we went to Long Beach for the U.S. Olympic Trials and watched as both Tara and Dana made the Olympic team — the first time sisters had made the same team in USA Swimming history. The Silvers and Justin competed as well so there was a lot for one hometown reporter to cover. I distinctly remember Justin being so stoked to swim in the final of the 100 butterfly, a race won by Michael Phelps, before he officially called it the end of his career.

After the Kirks made the team it wasn’t long before I received a call from our editor at the time to let me know that the paper was going to send myself and a photographer to Athens to cover the Olympics. I’ll never forget my two weeks there as we tried to cover the world’s biggest sporting spectacle from the outside looking in. Because we didn’t have full credentials we spent a lot of time with the Kirks’ parents, Jeff and Margaret, as they toured Athens, the Acropolis and went to beach parties and such.

We did manage to find our way into one swimming event, Tara’s 100 breaststroke final, and that was thrilling.  She lead after the first 50 meters and I remember sitting in the stands, my photographer trying to shoot from the stands (yes, we weren’t supposed to) and thinking that ‘I’m watching the Olympics and our hometown swimmer is trying to win a medal.’ Surreal.

Jumping ahead to Saturday, it’s been great seeing Dana competing at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships at Santa Clara, Calif. She gave the U.S. trials one more shot in 2012 (good for her as a back injury curtailed her career far too soon) and now that she’s coaching I’m sure it’s also been fun to get back into the competition pool.

Dana won the 100-yard individual medley in the 25-29 age category in 57.75 seconds. She also finished third in the 100 free in 52.36.

Nathan continues to be the best American sprinter. He won the 100 free in the 25-29 age category in a national age-group record of 41.08, besting the previous time of Darian Townsend’s mark of 42.13 from last Dec. Townsend finished second in Saturday’s race in 43.13. That means Nathan won by almost two seconds. Wow. The time also tied his American record.

Dana has one more race Sunday and I’ll post another update then.

Bainbridge’s Silver giving back to swimmers at Fitter & Faster Tour

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.

Olympic silver medalist Emily Silver of Bainbridge works with a young swimmer at a Fitter & Faster Tour clinic in Ripon, Calif.
Olympic silver medalist Emily Silver of Bainbridge works with a young swimmer at a Fitter & Faster Tour clinic in Ripon, Calif.

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.”

Emily Silver works with young swimmers during a clinic hosted by the Fitter & Faster Tour in Ripon, Calif.
Emily Silver works with young swimmers during a clinic hosted by the Fitter & Faster Tour in Ripon, Calif.

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


Video extra: Emily Silver and Jason Lezak

I really enjoy seeing our Olympic swimmers still out and about in communities and having some fun along the way.

This video is by and features Olympic champion Jason Lezak and Bainbride’s silver medalist Emily Silver in a Gold Medal Delivery at the USMS Nationals not long ago.

I especially liked the autograph signing when Emily signed the fan’s head!

New study links swimming to smarter kids

According to a three-year long study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, swim kids are smarter kids.

The study, which surveyed parents of 7,000 five-year-olds and younger in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, shows the swimming children reach developmental stages faster than other children.

Here’s an excerpt from the study;

As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy.

Here’s the story link on the USA Swimming website by Mike Gustafson.

From what I’ve seen during the last 13 years covering swimming in Kitsap, I tend to believe the study. All of our elite-level swimmers, Tara Kirk Sell, Dana Kirk, Nathan Adrian, Emily Silver and their siblings all excelled in high school and as undergrads and graduate students. Currently Tara is getting her doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins.

Coincidence? Ummm, maybe. But I think the fact that so many of our swimmers started at a very young age helped in their development, both socially, physically and mentally.

Besides, is there anything cuter than a 1-2 year old in the water? I think not.

Bainbridge’s Lindley finishes USMS Nationals meet

Bainbridge Aquatic Masters club swimmer Jane Lindley has completed her events at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Indianapolis this weekend.

Lindley, who is competing in the 50-54 age division, finished 12th in the 50-meter backstroke in 35.55 seconds; 13th in the 50 butterfly in 35.04; and 14th in the 100 freestyle in one minute, 5.32 seconds.

She placed 11th in Sunday’s 50 freestyle in 29.48.

Bainbridge native and Olympic silver medalist Emily Silver is also at the nationals, but she’s not competing. Silver is there with and has been on hand to present gold medals, along with Olympic champion Jason Lezak, and working with USMS on video recaps of the meet. Emily is doing a good job and becoming quite a talented sideline reporter.


Emily Silver part of Fitter & Faster tour

Emily Silver, who recently began working for in marketing communications, traveled to Beverly, Mass., Saturday as part of the company’s Fitter & Faster tour.

Silver, a Bainbridge Island native who won a silver medal in the 4×100 free relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was joined by Peter Vanderkaay, a three-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medalist.

You can find out more about the Fitter & Faster tour here, and to register for a clinic.