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article imageOlympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy talks Goldfish Swim School Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 3, 2019 in Sports
New York - Three-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Ryan Murphy sat down and chatted with Digital Journal at a cafe in Manhattan. He spoke about being a swimmer in this digital age.
Murphy opened up about his partnership with the Goldfish Swim School, in order to increase awareness on water safety and drowning prevention.
"It has been good," Murphy said about being in New York. "We've made a couple of stops so far. It has been really good to see the warm reception of this partnership and to spread awareness about water safety."
"I have been a fan of Goldfish Swim School through second-hand references," he said. "My sister is a physical therapist in Illinois and most of her clients are swimmers at Goldfish Swim School. It's an incredible company and I am really stoked with the initiative they've taken to promote water safety."
A world-renowned backstroker, Murphy praised co-founder Jenny McCuiston, and her husband, Chris McCuiston, CEO and co-Founder of Goldfish Swim School, as "first-class people." "They have done an incredible job growing this from the bottom up, and it is exciting to see where it's heading," he said.
On being a swimmer in the digital age, Murphy said, "The biggest thing is that I am able to interact with my fans. Luckily, I have fans at this point in my career. I love giving little kids tips to improve their backstroke and they can implement those tips in their next practice. I like to be able to communicate with my fans in real time."
With May being "National Water Safety Month," Murphy hopes to continue raising awareness. "The stats are staggering. For kids between the ages of one and four, drowning is the No. 1 cause of preventable death. Putting a child in swimming lessons reduces that number by 88 percent," he said.
If the backstroke were ever to be eliminated from competitions, Murphy noted that he would love to compete in "freestyle." "I train a lot in freestyle as it is. I would love to keep pushing the freestyle," he said.
His immediate plans for the next few months are to train for the World Championships and "to keep in balance" outside of the pool, in order to "pursue his passions" outside of the pool.
He feels privileged to be an ambassador of the International Swimming League (ISL). "I am passionate about growing this sport," he said. "It's a really good opportunity to grow the sport. What is great about it is that swimmers are behind it."
When asked which food he would eat for the rest of his life, he responded, "I love steak. I would like to have the ribeye."
While he has swum all over the world, several places that stand out to him include Monaco and Omaha (where the Olympic Trials will take place). "Monaco is my favorite place I've gotten to visit as a result of swimming. Monaco is just unreal," he said.
Murphy was driven from a young age and he had lofty goals growing up. "All my favorite clothes growing up were college T-shirts, which I would wear from ages six to 18 years old. Going to college and swimming in college was a big goal of mine," he admitted. "Making my career as a swimmer was a big dream of mine as well. I'm living my dream right now. I can't wait to see where it heads."
The Goldfish Swim School staff is passionate about the fact that it addresses the American Academy of Pediatrics' new water safety guidelines. "They just changed those guidelines in the spring. They used to say to not start swimming until four, but now it is changed to one-year-old. Comfort in the water is so important," co-founder Jenny McCuiston said.
The franchise has 87 schools across North America, and Murphy shared that he would love to someday visit all of them. Most impressive is that they teach via their research-based philosophy "Science of SwimPlay," which Jenny described as "play-based learning, but it's guided-play." "It's a serious subject but we try to make it fun," Jenny added.
Chris McCuiston shared that they pledged one million dollars for the USA Swimming Foundation's "Make a Splash" initiative, which is their goal to raise by the year 2024. "We started a 'Float it Forward' campaign throughout the Goldfish system to raise funds towards that amount. We are excited since the USA Swimming Foundation's mission aligns with ours," he said.
In his spare time, Murphy enjoys staying active with sports, which include playing basketball, participating in kickball leagues and ultimate frisbee. "I always like keeping my mind fresh, so I enjoy keeping up with the stock market," he said.
"I am a huge fan of Goldfish and I hope my fans become fans of Goldfish. Swimming opens up so many cool and fun activities in one's life. Goldfish is putting through 128,000 kids in swim lessons every week. That's 128,000 kids that have a new world open to them. I am thankful for Jenny and Chris for all they are doing to grow the sport on a grassroots level. Goldfish is doing so much to help grow the sport and to change people's lives," he concluded.
For more information on the Goldfish Swim School, check out its official website and its Facebook page.
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