By Becky Maxedon
Saturday at the Lake Havasu City Community Aquatic Center was special for the members of the Havasu Stingrays swim club.
They were there to meet and learn from former Olympic champion Jason Lezak.
Jason Lezak is an American former competitive swimmer who competed in four Olympic Games in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. He has won eight Olympic medals – two bronze, two silver and four gold.
He specialized in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races. His pro career lasted for nearly 15 years.
Lezak is best known for his performance at the 2008 Summer Olympics as the anchor of the U.S. 4×100-meter freestyle relay. It has been hailed as one of the greatest Olympic swimming relay races of all time.
It was the first time Californian Lezak had visited Lake Havasu City.
“I will come out again with my family,” he told RiverScene Magazine.
Lezak said he has been working with clubs like the Stingrays since he retired and has conducted camps in other parts of the world as well.
“I’m a little older so I’m trying to do a little less of it because I have a family with kids doing things,” he said.
He added that he wouldn’t give it up, but simply slow down.
He said he keeps in touch with his swimming friends.
“The USA swimming world … every once in a while, we show up at meets and I see a lot of people we haven’t seen in a couple of years but it’s like we saw each other yesterday.
“We have some pretty unusual bonding experiences when we go on trips that are a month or longer. You get to know people really well.”
Stingrays head coach Rick Wheeler said the club had a fundraiser to bring Lezak to Lake Havasu City.
“We did a fundraising to bring Jason Lezak who is an Olympic swimmer to offer his experiences with the group – talk with them a little bit, swim with them a little bit it’s a great opportunity to see what it takes to be an Olympian swimmer,” Wheeler said.
“You could see by the look on their faces and the way they were paying attention to him that they were excited about that part of it. A lot of the things that we are working on are good for him to reiterate those things.
“I think it was good for them to see and hear those things from a different perspective from him rather than their coach,” he said.
“I think everybody was pretty excited. We were anticipating … we really didn’t know what to expect but the kids seeing him and the way they are engaging with their questions – I think they’re getting a lot out of this.”
The Havasu Stingrays Swim Team would like the following sponsors for supporting this event:
Aquatic Pools of Mohave County, We ‘B’ Poppin, Ahn Dentistry, Embodied Wellness, Shelley Bengard, Active Chiropractic, Secrets of Beauty, London Bridge Plumbing, Sunset Skin Haus, Janecek Homes, Printing Plus, Wirefree, Jersey’s Grill, PZA, Liska’s Apothecary Shop, Palmari Construction, T1R.com LLC.