Olympics inspiring young Kansans to stretch their sports dreams


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As athletes go for the gold on the world stage, it’s creating some buzz for Kansans stretching their sports dreams.

“It gets spirits up. It gets the hype up and kids, families, even up to adults who go, ‘I want to learn to swim,'” said Emily McVay, Wichita Swim School program director.

McVay said when the Olympics occur, it serves as motivation for swimmers new and veterans alike to dive in.

“It really just gives us a boost and an inspirational push of why do we do this every day, said McVay. “The training, the monotonous that goes into it sometimes but what goes into that and then how does that turn into when it becomes a competition.”

The club has a history of helping mold Olympians.

“I have three little kids at home, and they’re just getting into the sport and not putting any pressure on him but, you know, just having them here and having them around the sport,” said Caroline Bruce McAndrew, 2004 Olympic Swimmer. “Just this place floods me with memories.”

Olympians inspiring people both in the pool and on the floor.

“I mean she’s only four, and it’s already making an impact on her,” said Megan Chambers whose daughter Mia is in gymnastics.

Mia is a member of the tumbling program at their local YMCA.

“She is just fascinated by everything that she can do, and so she’s talking about, you know, I want to be able to do that. So, we said you know, keep going to do gymnastics and keep doing everything,” Chambers said.

The YMCA says the Olympics always bring a boost for their programs.

“A lot of parents are introducing their kids to the Olympics, so they get to see the United States win the gold either in swimming, gymnastics or other sports that we have, said Shane Loy, vice president of operations for the Greater Wichita YMCA. “And that really creates excitement with the children they want to come and try the sport.”

Both the Wichita Swim Club and YMCA do not want finances to prevent families from signing up. They have scholarships available for families in need.

For more information on Greater Wichita YMCA, click here.

For the Wichita Swim Club, click here.

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