We first introduced Rowdy Gaines, 3x Olympic gold medalist, as our official 2022 IAQ spokesperson in January but just scratched the surface on what exactly makes him the best spokesperson for our #MakeChangeIAQ initiative. Today, we are going to go into greater detail on Rowdy – the athlete, the voice of swimming, the philanthropist and the indoor air quality (IAQ) advocate.
Rowdy’s Swimming Career: Let’s Dive In!
Ambrose “Rowdy” Gaines, born in Winter Haven, FL, was the fastest swimmer in the world throughout the 1980s. He broke 14 world records throughout his career and won three gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles—and these are just a few of his accomplishments as an athlete.
In 1991, Rowdy contracted and was temporarily paralyzed by Guillan-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune virus that attacks the nervous system. Just one year later, after overcoming the illness and regaining his strength, he won the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events at the World Masters Championships—talk about perseverance!
Rowdy is a member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame and is referred to today as “Swimming’s Greatest Ambassador.”
Outside the Pool: Commentator, Philanthropist, IAQ Advocate and More
Rowdy’s involvement in and passion for swimming has extended to projects and roles outside of the water.
He has worked with TNT, CBS and ESPN as an announcer and has covered Olympic swimming since 1991. Rowdy, considered the voice of swimming, called his eighth Olympic telecast for NBC at the 2020 Games. He is also a motivational speaker who shares his inspiring journey as an athlete at the Olympics and beyond.
Rowdy spends his time contributing to various organizations that are important to him, serving as a board member for USA Special Olympics, ZAC Foundation and Asphalt Green (NYC) and as an ambassador for Swim Across America and the USA Swimming Foundation.
Rowdy is also Vice President of Partnerships and Development for the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and, in this role, leads Step Into Swim. Step Into Swim, in partnership with Every Child A Swimmer, is an initiative committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention (and an initiative Dehumidified Air Solutions is proud to support).
Of course, Rowdy is now Dehumidified Air Solutions’ 2022 IAQ spokesperson as well. As a swimmer and an official broadcaster of the sport, he spends a significant amount of time in or around the pool and has witnessed the difference good IAQ makes to performance and health. IAQ affects the health and comfort of not only swimmers but also their parents and other supporters in the stands, coaches, volunteers and facility managers. These communities make up what we like to call the Team Behind the Swim Team. Rowdy is both well-versed in IAQ and connected to these communities that use indoor pools.
We are thrilled to be working alongside Rowdy to help change the way people think about the indoor pool environment and ensure more communities have a greater awareness and deeper understanding of the importance of good IAQ. Learn more about the #MakeChangeIAQ initiative.