US Nationals, espnW, Club Partnerships

US Nationals, espnW, Club Partnerships

Happy New Year!  I've had an exciting Fall & early Winter and I wanted to share some updates, including my takeaways from the espnW Women + Sports Summit, traveling to two club partnership teams, and speaking with Davita Health Partners. I was also featured on The YOUnique Piece podcast and had the opportunity to broadcast USA Swimming's Winter Nationals for FloSwimming.

Completed a bootcamp workout with fellow Olympians Maya Dirado and Maggie Steffens at the espnW summit

Completed a bootcamp workout with fellow Olympians Maya Dirado and Maggie Steffens at the espnW summit

espnW Women + Sports Summit
Back in October, I attended the espnW Women + Sports Summit in Dana Point, California. It was a great weekend being surrounded by so many strong, inspirational women. I wanted to share my top 3 takeaways from the weekend with you.
1. Dream big, but focus on the small: This is all about embracing the journey and focusing on the opportunities that ultimately lead to a bigger goal. After 21 years of swimming, my most fond memories are the times I spent with my friends and teammates in the grueling training hours and the crazy travel stories we share.
2. God's delays are not his denials: Patience and determination when working towards one's dreams are key.  Just because opportunity isn’t present and obvious doesn’t mean it will never come.  This is something I’ve been repeating to myself for a while now.  Perseverance is something I learned from my days as an athlete working for years for one moment of opportunity.
3. Proximity is power: Consistently putting myself in a position where I can learn from mentors has made me feel closer achieving my goals.  When I was 15, I had the opportunity to train at Club Wolverine in Michigan with swimming legends Tom Malchow and Chris Thompson.  The mere proximity to these successful Olympians made me realize how achievable my dream was.  As I work toward new goals and dreams now, it helps having access to great mentors like Summer Sanders and Brian Berger and attending events like the espnW summit.

The YOUnique Piece
Last month, I was featured by The YOUnique Piece podcast (https://soundcloud.com/user-472965030/the-younique-piece-in-kara-lynn-joyce-the-empowering-leader ) where I talked about my secrets for preparation and focus and shared some stories about how a strong mindset allowed me to compete at the biggest stage in the sport. I also had the opportunity to share how I'm currently using my experiences as an athlete to empower and inspire the next generation of girls.

"Doing that one thing today that scares you a little...will get you closer to the next step for you to do something that makes you happy."

 

Olympian Club Partnership
Over the past two months, I was able to visit with two of my club teams as a part of my Club Partnership program. I first visited WEST Coast Aquatics in Washington and then traveled to UMAC at the University of Maryland.

With members of the WEST swim team in Washington

With members of the WEST swim team in Washington

Working with these teams really highlighted a big question in the swimming community: "How are these kids so fast - and how to do they keep getting faster?!" Attending several practices with both of these club teams made it abundantly clear how: both Tim at UMAC and Nick at WEST are incredibly attentive to details and are constantly evolving with the sport to provide their athletes with the most up to date training methods.

I noticed how important it was to both programs to empower their athletes with knowledge and information to help them grow as athletes but also as people.

Speaking and Broadcasting
USA Swimming AT&T Winter Nationals:  I loved working with FloSwimming (http://www.floswimming.com/event/254492-2016-at-t-winter-national-championships) and talking with all the athletes on deck after their races. I enjoyed watching new swimmers become first-time National Champions and was especially impressed by the young up and coming club swimmers knocking out best times at a National meet.

Davita Health Partners: I also had the opportunity to speak with Davita Health Partners last month. It was great to share my story with their group and talk about how my experiences training for the Olympics relate to leadership and having a strong mentality.  Any time I get the chance to speak locally - I jump at it.  Davita had a gorgeous location downtown with a perfect view of the mountains and they couldn't have been more welcoming and accommodating.  

Interviewing Amanda Weir on behalf of FloSwimming at US Nationals in Atlanta, GA

Interviewing Amanda Weir on behalf of FloSwimming at US Nationals in Atlanta, GA

 

It's already 2017 and great things are starting to happen! 

Olympics & Summer 2016 Wrap!

Olympics & Summer 2016 Wrap!

Behind the scenes view with Ariana Kukors on Rio coverage Day 1

Behind the scenes view with Ariana Kukors on Rio coverage Day 1

I hope you were able to catch some of the swimming events at the Rio Olympics. It was a HUGE success for Team USA in the pool, and there were so many amazing moments we got to witness. The 2016 Olympics was the first time in 12 years that I got to enjoy watching the Games instead of competing.

In my first Olympics away from the pool, I joined USA Swimming as an online correspondent to recap (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISYaPww2NNs)  each night’s events. It was a great opportunity to get to work with Tricia Vanderslice, Matt Farrell, and Ariana Kukors and something I'm looking forward to doing more of in the future!

USA Swimming coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

USA Swimming coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

One of the most powerful moments for me was having the chance to interview Missy Franklin's parents, Dick and DA, to discuss her leadership and how she bounces back from adversity. You can find it in a special segment called Silver Linings with Kara Lynn Joyce (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9JY9qEKP0Q) .

OLYMPIC COVERAGE, MEDIA, & APPEARANCES
I also kept busy leading up to the Olympics in June and July. Here are a few highlights:

Mt. Hood, OR 11 & Over Championships with fans

Mt. Hood, OR 11 & Over Championships with fans

  • U.S. Diving Olympic Team Trials: I kicked off my summer in Indianapolis on the Road to Rio Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance. It was so exciting to bring the spirit of the Olympics to Team USA fans at Diving Trials with fellow Olympians David Boudia (diving), Shawn Johnson East (gymnastics), and Mary Whipple (rowing).
  • U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials: From Indy I flew directly to US Swimming Trials in Omaha. I loved watching friends, former teammates, and plenty of new faces accomplish their goals and qualify for Team USA. I joined USA Swimming’s #DeckPassLive (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGvMXaU7pkk&index=98&list=PLJUznzZd1j8UrnTs2-HIBvQ1nPZuLgbYP) and #Lane9 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr48gc_rLG0) to provide on-deck broadcasting and interviews with coaches and swimmers (as seen in my previous blog :)
  • Appearance in the Pacific Northwest: I traveled to Portland, OR for the Oregon Swimming 11 & Over Champs. I loved meeting fans, talking about Touch the Wall (http://www.touchthewall.com) and sharing my medals and experiences with people.
  • Liberty Mutual Road to Rio Tour: I closed out July with another stop on the Team USA Road to Rio Tour in Portland, OR. It was nice to conclude my travels in the Pacific Northwest and get excited for the Rio Opening Ceremonies the following week.
  • Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame Inductee Ceremony: On August 20, I was honored to be inducted into the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.
The Joyce Family at the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame dinner.

The Joyce Family at the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame dinner.

BROADCASTING, SPORTS BUSINESS RADIO, & THE PLAYERS TRIBUNE
My teaser feature in The Players' Tribune: What the (Blank): http://www.theplayerstribune.com/kara-lynn-joyce-swimming-olympics-what-the-blank/
Sports Business Radio w/ Brian Berger: https://audioboom.com/boos/4915910-kara-lynn-joyce-olympic-swimmer-on-sports-business-radio?t=0

UPCOMING EVENTS & PARTNERSHIPS

  • Road to Rio Tour by Liberty Mutual in Atlanta, GA – September 13-14
  • "Women's Leadership and Development" Lunch and Learn, sponsored by Starbucks Corporation in Seattle, WA – September 23
  • Corporate speaking with DaVita in Breckenridge, CO

One Vlog from Trials

One Vlog from Trials

I intended to make nightly vlog posts but was ridiculously busy (see previous post) and managed ONE post from my hotel room :)

Olympic Trials Recap

Olympic Trials Recap

Where do I even begin!?  Olympic Trials was a 9-day whirlwind week+ extravaganza not for the faint of swim-hearts and it was better than Christmas :)  I kept VERY busy with:

  • An AM/PM live show put on by USA Swimming (#DeckPassLive & #Lane9)
  • Touch The Wall movie screening
  • ESPN Radio
  • NBC prelims coverage
  • Several swim clinics
  • AquaZone autograph signing & much, much more!  

I have never been in one place where I knew SO MANY PEOPLE!  Coming back to Omaha after the past year and a half of Touch The Wall screenings was incredible.  Most people recognized me as "Kara Lynn from Touch The Wall" instead of "KLJ, 3x Olympian" and I LOVED that!  It shows the incredible reach and impact our little film had on the swimming community, something I am eternally grateful for.  

#DeckPassLive & #Lane9

This was my first ever opportunity to be on the "other side of the mic" and speak on the subject I know more about than anything else: swimming :)  We recorded 16 shows with Kaitlin Sandeno and Ari Kukors as hosts and me as the swim expert.  I won't lie, I was definitely nervous to start out but after the first day, we already started hitting our groove and the show flowed better and better each time we went live.  I had such a blast giving the prelims preview about who to watch, who's hot, who's cold, what was the word on deck and what was happening behind the scenes, and then the finals recap on who made the team (!!) and who is leaving with a broken heart. You can catch all of our shows here Deck Pass Live and here Lane 9

Watching My Races

I watched every single session with a combination of chill as well as tears of joy and tears of sadness.  I have come in 1st place, 2nd place (twice), 5th place, 7th place (twice), 8th place, 22nd place and 75th place respectively at this meet so I am very well versed on all the emotions on deck.  I made it through two of my previous races (women's 200 FR & women's 100 FR) with no problem - excited, happy and PROUD of what Team USA was putting together for Rio.  Then came the women's 50 free.  I have competed in the 50 free in the last 3 Olympic Games, a feat no other US woman has done.  I consider this race my baby - my first Trials cut, my first American Record, my NCAA titles, all of it.  The 50 free is mine.  I watched Abby Wentzel and Simone Manuel blow away my previous best times with ease and I was shocked at the tears welling up in my eyes.  Not because I wished I was in the race (no, not at all) but because this moment was me officially turning over my baby to new and capable hands.  The US is sending our team to the Olympics and for the first time in 16 years, I won't be there and I won't be swimming the 50 free.  I am absolutely PROUD of these women and what they bring to the scene in the women's sprint events and I felt closure that I didn't even know I needed in terms of my Olympic journey.  As I continue to build my career post-swimming, this closure was exactly what I needed.  

Everything Else

One of my favorite things about being at trials, aside from all the crazy fast swimming, was seeing all of my friends/former teammates.  I was a swimmer for 21 years, lived all over the country, swam for several different teams and because of that I have so many friends in the sport.  I got to hang with former teammates, relive old memories and make new ones.  I love the community that swimming brings together, it's so tight knit and always brings people back together for their shared love of this sport.

I look forward to watching the Olympics in the next few weeks from the other side.  I love how active our team is on social media and how they are engaging the fans in every part of this journey.  I hope they remember it all, the trips in the van, the uniforming, the village, the food, the dorms, all the eyes of the world on them here in this moment. 

More updates to come :) GO USA!

 

Olympic Trials in 9 days - and I'm taking you with me!

Olympic Trials in 9 days - and I'm taking you with me!

I cannot believe nearly 4 years have passed since my last Olympic Trials race.  I am so excited to be able to finally attend this meet as a swimfan and support our newly minted Team USA as they qualify for Rio 2016.  Aside from being the biggest swimfan in Omaha, I'll actually be standing on the other side of the rope for the first time and working in a new production put on by USA Swimming!  I'm going to be a part of a new live show every morning (9am) and every evening (9pm) where you'll get a recap from the pool deck discussing finals, and then looking ahead to the prelims heats.  I am thrilled to be getting my feet wet in sports broadcasting and what better way than to talk about what I know and love - swimming!  Catch me on usaswimming.org daily to hear about the races and also get a taste of what the buz around town is as the country's best swimmers gear up for the fastest meet in swimming (yes, it's even faster than the Olympics!)

Check back here for blog and vlog updates from Omaha!

Sports Business Radio Interview

Sports Business Radio Interview

This week I had the opportunity to speak with Brian Berger from Sports Business Radio, a sports podcast based out of Portland, OR.  We chatted about the Olympics, what the qualifying process is like (ready room anyone??) Touch the Wall - how it all came about & much much more :) You can check out my interview here.  

April - May 2016

April - May 2016

Speaking to City Year at the Starbucks HQ

Speaking to City Year at the Starbucks HQ

·        Speaking at Starbucks HQ (Seattle, WA): April began with a great opportunity to fly to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle for a keynote speech. Starbucks has a partnership with the City Year Foundation, a group that empowers young adults to become mentors to kids in need of guidance. The opportunity to tell stories from my career, make people smile, laugh and leave feeling more inspired was empowering.

·        Finding Time to Stay Healthy and Fit: After Seattle, I had a few weeks back home in Denver. I recently began a partnership with the Denver Athletic Club as an Olympic ambassador. You would think that after all the years of training, it would be easy for me to get up and work out every day – NOT THE CASE! I have actually had chronic lower back issues since retirement and it has been difficult to find a workout program. One huge benefit of my DAC partnership is working with the one and only myofascial massage master – Emad Hussein!

·        Building a Brand: At the end of April I was back on the east coast for a nine day trip packed with appearances, clinics, new sponsor meetings, media partnerships and a film festival. I love New York City! I was born in Brooklyn and NYC always feels like home. I had two appearances in New York for the Liberty Mutual: Road to Rio Tour, as well as the Team USA 100 Days Out Gala at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art).

Photoshoot with The Players Tribune overlooking the Hudson River

Photoshoot with The Players Tribune overlooking the Hudson River

·        Meeting with the Players Tribune: One of my most productive NYC meetings was with the Player’s Tribune. The Olympics is on everyone’s radar and having the opportunity to speak with their team about Olympic marketing strategy was very special. I was even asked to do a quick photo shoot in their studio, overlooking the water!

Newport Film Festival with fans of Touch The Wall

Newport Film Festival with fans of Touch The Wall

·        Newport Sports Film Festival and Touch the Wall: I stayed at the BeachCliff Resort in Newport, RI, which is absolutely stunning! I was honored to be a guest. Touch the Wall screened to a full house and I am always so humbled when people attend screenings.

·        2016 Sports PR Summit: I was invited to attend 2016 Sports PR Summit as a guest. Being in the room with the best professional sports marketers and heroes, such as Lisa Leslie (WNBA) and Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) was an amazing experience. I met some great professionals and will be featured on an upcoming episode of Sports Business Radio.