ATLANTA — Since the early 1980s, Dynamo swimmers in Atlanta have represented the United States at the Olympic Games. The Dynamo Swim Club program started in 1964 and continues to inspire a new generation of athletes in metro Atlanta.
"Every day it’s 100% effort and hard work focusing on getting better. Six days a week and double days," Dynamo swimmer Andrew Simmons said.
Simmons, Ainsley Jones, and Arie Voloschin are part of a long tradition of success.
Dynamo had four swimmers in Rio for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Gunnar Bentz and Jay Litherland represented the USA and again in Tokyo.
"It’s cool to see your teammates thrive at the top of world-level competitions," Jones said.
The reality is, competing in the same pool is where Olympic champions got their start.
"Knowing I am racing some of the best athletes in the world in practice it is a cool experience to be able to do that," Voloschin said.
Silver medalist Jay Litherland and Gold medalists Brooks Curry and Gunnar Bentz all grew up in Atlanta swimming for Dynamo. They say they've spent more hours than they could count with their teammates at Dynamo Swim Club.
“It motivates us a lot because we see that other people have done it and we’ve looked up to them ever since we were little," Simmons said.
Dynamo's head coach Ian Murray said swimming in the metro Atlanta area is strong and all of their locations have produced athletes at the international level.
"We’ve had multiple members represent U.S. International at Pan American games, 4 Olympians and Olympians represent other nations as well," Murray said. "The success of our previous Olympians is something we take a lot of pride in."
But to say these swimmers take a lot of pride in Dynamo is an understatement.
"It is kind of surreal to know they came from here and they are representing Dynamo is a great experience," Simmons said.
Olympians who’ve never forgotten where they came from are why they regularly come back to help the next generation.
"It makes me feel like everyone starts from the same, hard work you can get to the top. If they can do it anyone can do it," Voloschin said.
Murray said this is an example that anything is possible.
"That’s where it all developed, so thank you, guys. Dynamo Love, Dynamo Pride. It’s just one big family," Litherland in an interview from Tokyo said.