Kristy Kowal

Kristy Kowal

I started swimming when I was 5 years old. My mom signed me up for a summer league team because we would be spending our summers at the pool and she wanted me to be water safe. I was the worst kiddo on the team and needed to stop 10 times a lap to take a break but I LOVED it! By the time I was 8 I knew I wanted to be an Olympian (even if I still needed to hang on to the wall for a few breaks).  After missing the Olympic team by .17 of a second and .01 of a second I finally made my dream come true when I was 21. I retired at 25, but continue to swim to stay active, because I feel most at home in the water (I’m part mermaid), and because I swim to raise money for those fighting cancer. 

TRISLIDE is my MUST have any time I am swimming in the ocean! It is the only thing that keeps my bathing suits and wetsuit from chafing, and it lasts the entire swim! Thanks to TriSlide, suit burns are a thing of my past.

How many races have you participated in?

How many years of school did you acomplish?

How many goggles do you own?

How old were you when you first started competing?

How many students do you see per week?
hahah what about third graders? 24

How many years swimming?

What temp is your favorite temperature?

Earliest memory of swimming:
I remember the first time I was ever in a race where there was a false start. I was an 8 and under and in an end lane. I refused to stop swimming, so a coach jumped in the pool to grab me, and I kept swimming, all the while trying to fight the coach off :)

Most humbling moment:

This summer I got to act as a support swimmer for my friend Rene Martinez as he did the Catalina Channel crossing.  Overcoming my fear of swimming at night and of swimming in sharky water for a few hours was nothing compared to the amazing feat I witnessed as he swam for 14 hours straight from Catalina to California. That is something I know I would NEVER be able to do, but to witness the determination and strength of someone who can do that, it was awesome. 

Proudest moment:

Making the Olympic team in the 200 breaststroke two days after missing the team in the 100 breaststroke by .01 in 2000.

Do you work with a certain charity? (who and why)
I do many swims with Swim Across America. I lost my grandfather to cancer and felt helpless. Swim Across America is an organization that raises money in various cities across the country through swim events- both pool and open water. Hospitals in the host cities are the beneficiaries of the monies raised and the money goes towards funding cancer research and treatments. Many of the hospitals specialize in pediatric cancers, and seeing how strong those kiddos are is inspirational.