News

Alex Cramer

Recently, I (Coach Alex) had the privilege of traveling for Illinois Swimming to the USA Swimming workshops held in Denver, Colorado. As the Illinois Swimming DEI Committee Co-Chair, I was responsible for attending DEI workshops, connecting with other LSC leaders and soaking up as much information as possible to bring home to Illinois. What I came away with is hope and a sense that we are making progress in the right direction for all people to enjoy the sport of swimming. Here’s what I did over three days. Day 1...

Alex Cramer

Did you know that there are several ways for athletes to be involved in our, LSC, Illinois Swimming? Join an Illinois Swimming committee: There are several committees in Illinois Swimming. Each one has to have 33% of its members consist of athletes (ages 13& up)! You may have seen an email that recently went out from the Illinois Swimming Athlete Committee. They are seeking new committee members and WILD would be proud to have you represent us! Here’s what they sent: The Illinois Swimming Athlete Rep Elections will take place...

Alex Cramer

Our mission at NASA Wildcats is to foster a culture of excellence, inclusivity and equity through the sport of swimming. In keeping with that mission, the Did You Know (DYK) section of our newsletter highlights stories of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). You’ll find stories of other cultures, historically underrepresented athletes, mental health, LGBTQIA topics and statements from the team regarding worldly incidents that may impact our community members. Who are our community members? You! Our parents, WILD athletes, coaching staff, board members, volunteers, facility staff, and the communities in...

Alex Cramer

This week the US Women’s National Soccer Team had a huge win. After six years of a legal battle with the US Soccer Federation, they have settled their lawsuit over unequal pay for $24 Million in back pay. What may be more important though is the guarantee that they will now be paid the same rate as the Men’s team for all friendlies (exhibition games) and tournaments including the World Cup. Megan Rapinoe told the Today Show, "For us this is just a huge win in ensuring that we not...

Alex Cramer

Did you know that pools used to be made 55 yards long? Through the US, Australia, and UK, pools were made in 55 yard lengths, in part to help break up races into even divisions of the mile. In fact, the 1904 Olympics were the only ones ever swum in yards, and included a 1760 race for a true mile, instead of our standard 1650. Following the 1904 Olympics the AAU (the USA Swimming predecessor) made the choice to switch all competitions to long course meters, and our 50 meter...

Alex Cramer

This month is Black History Month, a time for our nation to celebrate and honor black folks and the contributions they have made to our country. We’d like to celebrate this month by honoring black joy in all its forms from movies to books to podcasts, while acknowledging that black joy and history are made every day and should be celebrated all year! Watch: 10 Films Celebrating Black Joy (films for all ages), Fresh Prince (Sitcom), Family Matters (Sitcom), Black-ish (Sitcom) Look: The Museum of Black Joy Listen: Bringing Up...

Alex Cramer

Did you know that Feb 1 was the start of Lunar New Year celebrations? This is the Year of the Water Tiger, which occurs every 60 years. According to Qin Gang, China's ambassador to the US, "In Chinese culture, the tiger is the symbol of bravery, wisdom and strength." Lunar New Year is not only celebrated in China, but many East and Southeast Asian countries. So to everyone celebrating, we wish you prosperity going into the new year!

Alex Cramer

Did you know that wearing a swimsuit skirt was a requirement for female swimmers? According to former Olympic swimmer, Penny Taylor, wearing a skirt attached to your swimsuit was still in the rulebook in the 70s! Taylor’s experience is very unique. At age 92, she saw female swimming start in its earliest stages with baggy, cotton suits to the first latex suit used in Germany to what we see at meets now. She speaks about the inequities women faced in the sport (like how she had to take a 7...

Alex Cramer

Dear WILD families, As you know, the third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This federal holiday is observed across the nation as a day of service, where communities come together to honor MLK and his powerful work in the civil rights movement. While many have the day off for this holiday, others choose to make it a “day on” to create the Beloved Community that MLK had dreamed of. Though we have the day off of practice, we are very excited to announce that we will...

Alex Cramer

Did you know that one of the first recorded creations of swimming fins comes from Benjamin Franklin? He created a combination paddle/fin in 1717! When. Writing about it later he said, "When a youth, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand... I remember I swam faster by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my feet a...