Message from our Founder
Summer is upon us and just in time as things are steadily normalizing. At this time last year, most of us were still confined to our homes not knowing what the future had in store for us. Thanks to forward thinking, modern medicine, and honestly, a bit of common-sense, it seems as though we will be able to enjoy the summer, with our loved ones, without the fear of spreading a virus that we know nothing about.
This summer will also bring the long awaited 2020, I mean, 2021 Olympic Games. The Olympic Games come around once every four years and this year, Evolution Swim Academy may have one of its own at the Games. Anicka Delgado has preliminarily qualified for the games to represent the country of Ecuador. Anicka is a dual citizen and may represent either the U.S.A or Ecuador in international competitions. Anicka has decided to represent Ecuador, as she has been doing for the past 6 years, and as of today, she is going to the Games.
The road to Tokyo is hard and throw in a pandemic and it gets even harder. To qualify for the Olympic Games, most athletes around the world rely on qualifying time standards. Specific to the sport of swimming, there are “A” and “B” time standards that swimmers must achieve to be considered. The “A” time standard means that you are qualified to participate at the Games, and as long as you are one of the top two fastest swimmers in your country in that event, your ticket is punched. The “B” time standard means that you have achieved the consideration time standard and as long as other swimmers from your country do not achieve the “A” time standard, and as long as you are the top swimmer in your country, you have also punched your ticket to the Games. Anicka qualifies in the 100-meter freestyle event, having achieved a “B” time standard in the event, and since currently there are no other female Ecuadorian swimmers that have achieved an “A” or “B” time standard, she is set to attend her first Olympics.
To put things into perspective, the “A” time standard is generally the 8th fastest time from the previous Olympics and the “B” time standard is generally the 20th fastest time from the previous Olympic Games. Both times standards are incredibly hard to achieve and Anicka was able to achieve the “B” time standard at this year’s South American Championships, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March. At the South American Championships, Anicka won 3 gold medals on her way to four national records.
On the domestic front, Anicka is a freshman at the University of Southern California (USC), where she is a business major. In her first year at USC, Anicka won a bronze medal at Pac-12 championships and qualified for the division 1 NCAA swim meet in three events. At 18, Anicka is considered one of the best 18 and under swimmers in the world and will soon be able to test her skills against the best that the world has to offer.
Anicka started her career right here at Evolution Swim Academy attending swim lessons with Coach Francisco and Kaitlynn. Anicka is my daughter and I am her coach. It’s a slippery slope but we seem to manage just fine. As a swim duo, we have our ups and downs, but more ups, so at least we are moving in the right direction. Coaching your kid is never easy and to be honest, I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but 18 months ago, Anicka came to me and asked if I would coach her until the Olympic Games and as any father would do for his kid, I pushed life aside and took on the challenge. I would never give this back. This time has been a learning experience for both of us and I know that this experience will only help shape who she will be in the future. I mean come on, your freshman year at USC, confined to your bedroom virtual learning, swimming by yourself and your dad is your coach. It can’t get better than that, right?
When she asked me to coach her, neither of us could imagine what the future would hold in store for us. A pandemic, training on our own, virtual learning, three South American titles and a berth to the Olympic Games. Like I said, I would never give this back.
Felipe Delgado | Founder & Olympic Partner | Evolution Swim Academy