About the Smelts

Chicago Smelts Masters Swim Team

2015, 2016, and 2017 Illinois Masters State Champions!














The Chicago Smelts are Chicago's predominantly Gay and Lesbian U.S. Masters Swim Team, encouraging fitness, friendship, community and competition through swimming. Membership is open to everyone including gay-friendly straight swimmers. The team currently has a roster of 200 swimmers from around the Chicago area and includes athletes of all abilities ranging from beginners to triathletes to former college superstars.  Check out our 2014 Illinois State Championships highlights video!

Our Mission Statement

As a mostly gay and lesbian swim club belonging to Illinois Masters Swim Association, the Chicago Smelts fosters an atmosphere of camaraderie where swimmers of all abilities can participate in organized team workouts, train and compete. Through social events and community service the team promotes personal growth and pride for all its members.


The Chicago Smelts was established in 1988, and has grown to become Illinois' largest masters swim team.


The Chicago Smelts is a member of the Illinois Masters Swimming Association (ILMSA), the regional group of United States Masters Swimming (USMS), and International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA).