McLean, VA (June 6, 2008) - Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg today announced his official retirement from competitive swimming. Krayzelburg, the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swim Team captain, will now focus his time on a variety of swimming initiatives to continue to help grow the sport that has provided him with invaluable life lessons. Krayzelburg, who was a cofounding member of www.SwimRoom.com, will assume a business and content development role with the sports first social networking site and continue to develop his popular Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Schools.
Born in the Ukraine, Krayzelburg's family immigrated to the United States in 1989 to avoid having their only son drafted by the Red Army. In 1995, he proudly became an American citizen and graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Finance. Krayzelburg was a triple gold medalist at the 2000 Olympics, winning gold in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay as well as a gold medalist in the 2004 Olympics in the 4x100m medley relay. An 11-time U.S. National Champion, Krayzelburg was also twice named USA Swimming's "Swimmer of the Year" (1999 & 2000).
"I sincerely want to thank all of my coaches, teammates, and competitors through my years in swimming. Although most consider swimming an individual sport, there is absolutely no way I could have achieved my success without these people challenging, motivating, encouraging, and supporting me along the way," said Krayzelburg. "I am now excited to use my success as an Olympic swimmer as a platform to bring others to the sport. I look forward to sharing my passion for swimming with others as I enter the next phase of my life."
With his competitive swimming days now behind him, Krayzelburg is setting his eyes full time on the developmental side of the sport. He has shifted his intense drive and focus to growing the popularity of swimming through an expanded role with SwimRoom.com, an athlete-created, driven, and controlled social networking website focused on the sport of swimming, which he helped to launch in 2007 with fellow swimmers Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker, Kirsty Coventry, Katie Hoff, Ryan Lochte, Megan Jendrick and Whitney Myers. The site has since expanded to include Olympians Natalie Coughlin, Neil Walker and Laura Wilkinson among many others.
"We are working to develop new and original content, from behind-the-scenes episodic programming to instructional curriculum. We feel that with such unique content and better access to the sports biggest stars, we can grow the swimming community. The fact SwimRoom.com is truly an athlete-driven site is especially exciting to me. The exclusive content, tips and insight will be very beneficial to swimmers of all ages and abilities."
Beyond his involvement to help grow and develop the site from a business standpoint, Krayzelburg will also take an unfamiliar position on the other side of the interview table, serving as a reporter through his daily blog series on SwimRoom.com. The author of his very own American Dream, Krayzelburg will provide expert insight and analysis on what professional swimmers are experiencing leading up to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2008 Olympic Games.
Even during his competitive days of swimming, Krayzelburg was building the foundation to his life out of the pool. He launched the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim School (www.LennyKswim.com) in conjunction with the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, CA in 2005. The Lenny Krayzelburg Swim School helps more than 1,100 participants learn swimming and water safety ranging in age from infants to adults. He personally plays an active role in working with families on the importance of water safety and how the sport can be used to build character and a sense of dedication. Future plans for the swim school include working with the Jewish Community Center Association to develop possible partnerships with other Jewish Community Centers around the nation.
In addition, he established the Lenny Krayzelburg Foundation in 2003 to help teach underprivileged children in inner city Los Angeles how to swim. Currently, the Foundation is preparing to launch its first school program with the students at Bethune Middle School in South Central Los Angeles later this summer.
Krayzelburg also co-founded the "Swim with the Stars" (www.swimwiththestars.com) program that was launched following the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Through a variety of camps, clinics, tours and instructional DVD series, Swim with the Stars has helped broaden the exposure of swimming. His most recent production is an instructional DVD filmed in Hi-Definition entitled, Personal Best Backstroke with Lenny Krayzelburg, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Free clips of this DVD are available to the Swimroom.com community each Tuesday and Thursday through the site's "Tips on the T's" feature.
Krayzelburg is married with twin daughters and is planning on attending the Olympics this summer to support Team USA.