University of Arizona Head Coach Frank Busch nicknamed his All-American swimmer, ‘Pearl’. It was a common theme for the coach to give his athletes nicknames, but this one would ring especially true for Olympian Lacey Nymeyer, who left Beijing with silver around her neck.
On October 18, 2009, Lacey Nymeyer was honored by the NCAA as the Woman of the Year. The award honors student athletes who have completed their college eligibility, demonstrated academic and athletic excellence and engaged in community service and leadership opportunities. Lacy says, “It’s an amazing award and I love that it looks at me as a person. An olympic medal shows my abilities as swimmer, but with this award highlights other aspects of my life as well.”
This statement embodies who Lacy is, an impeccable swimmer, but also a well balanced individual. “Swimming is what you do, it’s not who you are, trying to have balance is key. I try and teach swimmers to have an appreciation for the sport and get them back to why they started swimming in the first place.”
Lacy helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever National Championship in women’s swimming. She was part of four NCAA title relays. She ended her career winning more NCAA titles then any swimmer in Arizona history, 10.
Lacy’s successes in life has certainly not been limited to the pool. She keeps her life balanced by focusing on not only the sport she loves, but also academics, family and yes, fun. While studying physical education, she earned a GPA of 3.84, earning her Academic All Pac-10 honors, ESPN The Magazine Academic All District honors, Arizona’s Ruby award for the top student athlete and the Pac-10 Toyo Tires Scholar Athlete of the Year Award for Women’s Swimming.
Lacy began working on her stroke technique at the tender age of six. U.S. Head Women’s Coach Jack Baurle referred to Lacy as the best technician on the U.S. Olympic Team. In her clinics, Lacy emphasizes the importance of having good stroke technique through a variety of drills. As Lacy says, “I want to focus on trying to make swimming fun. Elite level can sometimes have it’s challenges, but swimmers should try and enjoy the process. Fitter and Faster clinics are meant to compliment what you already do with your team. Provide drills in a new, different, and hopefully a fun way, that makes you think about it in a different light.”
Along with teaching swimmers fun and fresh techniques, Lacy is thrilled because, “In clinics, we don’t have to give swimmers sets of 200s or 100s, we can shake it up and do 25s. We have so much room for creativity in clinics which is unique compared to other spaces in the sport.”
Lacey loves diving into her second home with the swimmers at Fitter and Faster clinics, and she hopes to impart aspects of her impeccable technique, and give advice on how to keep the fun in swimming by having a balanced lifestyle.