David Curtiss strives to be an inspiration to young athletes, as Cullen Jones has been for him. “Cullen’s unwavering dedication, not just to his craft but also to advocating for water safety and inclusivity in swimming, has deeply influenced my desire to teach. Seeing how he uses his platform to educate and make swimming accessible to all, especially underserved communities, has ignited a passion in me to share my love for the sport and the importance of water safety with others.” David has enjoyed success at the collegiate level and on the international stage in the sprint freestyle events. David represented the U.S. at the 2023 Pan American Games where he earned a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle. He was the 2022 U.S. Open Champion in the 50-meter freestyle, a 2023 Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in the 4×50 freestyle relay, 4×100-yard freestyle relay, and 4×50-yard medley relay, and is a holder of the 2023 NCAA Division I title in the 4×50-yard medley relay.
Of his experience as an elite swimmer competing on the national and world stages David says, “This has been an incredible journey that has not only developed me as an athlete but also as a person, teaching me invaluable life skills. The experiences, challenges, and triumphs I’ve encountered while representing our country on the international stage have shaped my character and instilled in me qualities like nervous energy management, resilience, discipline, and adaptability.” David says that the spotlight of international competition has forced him out of his comfort zone and pushed him to develop problem-solving skills under pressure. He shares with Fitter & Faster clinic participants how they can apply similar techniques to their races.
David creates a safe, nurturing, and motivating environment for young swimmers to thrive. He prioritizes not just the technical aspects of swimming but also the importance of discipline, teamwork, and mental resilience, which are valuable life skills that go beyond the pool.