Kenny Gaudet Named Athlete of the Month

Sept. 27, 2017, 4:07 p.m. (ET)
Kenny Gaudet poses with his Lakeland YMCA Flamingo teammates.

Kenny Gaudet, a 12-year-old member of the Lakeland YMCA Flamingo Synchro team, has been named the Athlete of the Month for September.

Kenny started synchro at the Lakeland Family YMCA when he was 5 years old through its novice Aqua Chick program.  He and his older sister Madison, 14, began together and have competed on the same team routines over the years, attending the U.S. Junior Olympic Championships. In addition, he volunteers for team fundraisers and assists with novice developmental clinics. Kenny and Madison were involved with the novice program for a couple of years before moving onto the competitive Lakeland Y Flamingo Synchro Swim Team. 

“Kenny has been a role model for younger athletes and is eager to help wherever he can,” said Lakeland Family YMCA Synchro Head Coach Lorraine Valerino. “More recently, three more young male swimmers started the novice program at the Lakeland YMCA.  Kenny often volunteers to help with all the novice athletes. He is a strong teammate and blends in well with the entire club. He and Madison are also competitive cheerleaders and, unfortunately, he's been the recipient of teasing and bullying because of his participation in both sports – but more specifically, because he's a synchro swim athlete.

“Early on, he was in awe of champion Bill May and his mother reached out to May via Facebook.  Over the past couple of years when Kenny has been disappointed with the bullying, May has offered words of encouragement.”

"He's been fantastic," said Kenny. "He's been an inspiration to me. He explained to me there was a time that he got bullied, so he understands. He's helped me by giving me advice – especially about the hard stuff. He says that it really doesn't matter. What's important is that synchro is fun."

Kenny, a seventh-grader at Lakeland Highlands Middle School, is an honor student who was recently invited to participate in the Duke University TIP academic program.  He also plays the cello in LHMS concert band. 

Kenny, USA Synchro is proud to name you as its Swimmer of the Month!

If you would like to nominate an athlete for swimmer of the month, please go to is the largest online specialty shop for swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, fashion, beach and surf products in the US and is a proud supporter of the initiatives that help the aquatic community. is a sponsor of USA Synchro and is pleased to honor synchro student athletes that embody synchronized swimming, academic and community involvement.