JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When Olympic swimmers go for the gold and win there's an immediate increase in the number of parents on the First Coast wanting to enroll their kids in swim lessons according to an Olympic gold medalist and former world champion swimmer.
He says with so many of the Olympic swimmers being from Jacksonville and the University of Florida in Gainesville it's no wonder young people here are dreaming of the chance to go for the gold one day too.
On Tuesday afternoon, adults and kids alike were making a splash at Englewood High School's pool. Many of them say they're enjoying watching Team USA swimmers.
Ivyon, 11, and her brother Ivan Jr. say they love swimming. Ivyon says she'd love to have the chance to swim competitively because she thinks the Olympic swimmers are great. She has some advice for the athletes to follow if they want to keep winning. "Because I believe in myself and they should believe in themselves too."
It's a feeling Martin Zubero knows all about. The Olympic gold medalist and former world champion swimmer spends his days now as the head swim coach at the Spartan Aquatic Club in Orange Park and he says when they Olympics start his phone starts ringing.
Zubero says, "It's a definite spike right when the Olympics start - usually when you see the Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte's on TV. You see them being successful and you start getting the big time phone calls from those parents so there's definitely an upswing in phone calls as far as people wanting to join the team."
But for parents in the River City that are interested in getting their kids involved in swimming competitively First Coast News wanted to know about the cost of training.
Zubero says, "Well it just depends on which team that you're with and what type of ability that you have but as far as being on the swim team it could be anywhere from 40 dollars a month to 120 dollars. It just depends on the group that you're in."
He says for a child from the age of six to sixteen to train competitively it costs thousands of dollars to pay for a coach to give them lessons over the years and for travel expenses to compete in meets.
First Coast News