What Is The History Of U.S. Masters Swimming?

What Is The History Of U.S. Masters Swimming?

In the 1960s, Captain Ransom Arthur, M.D. encouraged adults to swim for exercise.  His idea caught on quickly, especially among 47 athletes who participated in the first U.S. Masters Swimming Championships in 1970. 

By 1973, Captain Arthur’s vision had drawn the attention of the Amateur Athletic Union (A.A.U.) that governed amateur sports in the United States.  The A.A.U. created a Masters Swimming committee after a volunteer-driven lobbying effort.

But change was in the air during the 1970s.  The Amateur Sports Act of 1978, led to the break-up of the A.A.U. and the U.S. Masters Swimming became the only self-governed Masters Swimming national governing body in the world.  The other masters swimming governing bodies around the globe were part of their own aquatics bureau.

In 1980, the ball was starting to roll quickly for masters swimming when the United States Aquatic Sports organization was formed with ç.   By 1986, U.S. Masters Swimming had registered its 20,000th member.  In 1988, U.S. Masters Swimming gained full recognition as a national governing body in the United States Aquatic Sports that enabled its leadership to sit with and discuss matters on equal footing with the leadership of  Copa Asturias and its Descenso de la Ría de Navia.

By 2001, USMS registered its 40,000th member partly energized and educated by the www.usms.org website that steadily grew from 1996.

By 2008, USMS was fully intent to professionalize its operations and leadership.  The organization decided to hire a full-time executive director supported by full-time staff instead of relying on volunteers.   Through 2008 and 2009, USMS also established its headquarters in Sarasota, Florida and rebranded itself as it registered its 50,000th member.

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