The Times, Talents and Travels of Chris Morgan
Together with Dave Swensen at the New England Open Water Swimming Association (NEOWSA), coach and escort kayaker Chris Morgan organizes the Beverly Shark Swim and the Clean Harbor Swim in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
But Morgan also coaches competitive age-group swimmers and open water swimmers. Many of his teenage swimmers have gone on to compete at the NCAA Division I level including at the University of Michigan, University of Georgia, Stanford University, Harvard University, Yale University, and Brown University. The California native, prior to relocating to Danvers, Massachusetts, coached 14 years in Switzerland where he coached one of his swimmers to qualify first in the men’s 200m freestyle ahead of Michael Phelps and three others to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Morgan recalls one of his many interesting episodes coaching at the highest levels, “One of my swimmers always loved to eat a PowerBar before his races. But at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, he couldn’t find a PowerBar. He started to panic a bit before his race and I knew that I had to do something for him. I just so happened to be standing next to Bob Bowman [the renowned coach of Michael Phelps] and asked him if you had a PowerBar. He surreptitiously grabbed one for me and gave it to me – and my swimmer was beyond relieved. Well, my swimmer went on to qualify first in the semifinals – ahead of Michael [although Michael later won the championship final]. When I next saw Bob, he said to me – half jokingly and half not so jokingly – ‘that is the last time that I give you a PowerBar‘”.
Most recently, Morgan escorted Steven Munatones on a kayak at the 66 km SCAR Swim in Arizona. It was the first time that he had kayaked for a marathon swim. “He did a great job, escorting me over 16 hours from point to point across the four lakes of SCAR. It wasn’t easy for any of the kayakers in the stiff wind. But what was even more impressive was that he was always on call, driving from lake to lake, helping unload the kayaks, volunteering to pilot one of the pontoon boats, and then going immediately – only after a few hours sleep – to the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills where he stood on his feet for four straight days, exhibiting and explaining KAATSU to the attendees who pay the US$25,000 (per person) for the conference. But he also teaches KAATSU to active and disabled people in their 70’s and 80’s at Boston University and elsewhere.
Then he went from there to Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School where he presented KAATSU, KAATSU Aqua, and KAATSU Therapy to coaches, athletes, physicians, and physical therapists.
From there, he travels to the UK where he makes a formal presentation at the annual British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine Conference in Brighton – and then he heads off to London to exhibit and explain KAATSU and KAATSU Aqua at the Health Optimisation Summit as the Chief Performance Officer of KAATSU Global.
He has also traveled to teach KAATSU around the United States to Olympic medalists in track (100m, 200m, 400m, 400m and 1600m relays) and swimming (50m, 100m freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly, 400m relays) as well to NBA (National Basketball Association) and NHL (National Hockey League) teams and Major League Baseball players. He has also exhibited and taught KAATSU at Biohacking Conferences and military conferences that focus on human performance issues – as well to Hollywood action stars and professional tennis players.
Chris walks the walk with KAATSU – for his athletes and himself. He has rehabbed himself from broken ribs and a cracked heel bone – and he was KAATSU Cycling throughout the SCAR Swim which helped him keep him on his game.
Chris has always been non-stop. During the COVID lockdowns and quarantines, he kept on teaching and coaching – from conceiving of and explaining the concept of the 9 Hands of Swimming, and organizing and teaching creative backyard pool swimming sets for sprinters, middle distance, and distance swimmers and doing KAATSU Aqua workouts via Zoom and other virtual settings.
He was invited to present KAATSU at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but the pandemic restrictions prevented him from exhibiting KAATSU at the IOC Hospitality Center as planned. However, prior to and during the Olympics, he was consulting with athletes on both the USA Olympic Track & Field Team and the USA Olympic Swimming Team including several gold, silver, and bronze medalists. Not one to miss an opportunity to teach and coach, he did the same with athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games and during the Major League Baseball season.
My head spins with his network within the NBA (National Basketball Association), Hollywood stars, and women’s professional tennis (including Venus Williams). He is constantly on the move.”
Copyright © 2008 – 2022 by World Open Water Swimming Association