Olympic swimming legends filled the OMEGA House throughout the afternoon and evening on Tuesday, when brand ambassadors Michael Phelps, Chad le Clos, Alexander Popov and Natalie Coughlin entertained guests with talks and Q&A sessions.
Chad le Clos and Alexander Popov shared their thoughts on the London 2012 Olympic Games and what the future has in store for the new swimming star.
Chad le Clos first made a strong impression on OMEGA at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 when he collected five medals. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he proved to be a dominating force in the 200m Butterfly where he took gold before bringing home silver in the 100m Butterfly competition.
The 20-year-old explained what his victory meant to him: “I think the best way to describe how I’m feeling is overwhelmed. I just wanted to race next to Michael, look at him underwater and try to beat him”.
Alexander Popov praised Chad le Clos on the hard work he put in to make it to the top of the podium and offered his advice as one swimming legend to the next: “It’s not easy to win, but it’s much harder to stay on top. It’s much harder to maintain it. The more experience you get, the more precious the time becomes. You learn to respect and not waste any split second in your life”.
Alexander Popov is regarded as one of the greatest sprint Freestyle swimmers, having won gold in the 50m and 100m Freestyle competitions two Olympic Games in a row in the Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
Following the talk by Chad le Clos and Alexander Popov, guests moved upstairs to the OMEGA House Timeless Garden where they spent time discussing the swimming world with two athletes who have established themselves as reigning champions in their sport and set the bar high for swimmers all over the world: Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin.
Michael Phelps distinguished himself as the greatest Olympian ever, after winning his 22nd Olympic medal with the 4x100 Medley Relay on Friday night. This total includes 18 gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart has long been impressed by the swimmer who has been an ambassador for the watch brand for eight years. He said, “With Michael’s dedication to performance and his steadfast determination to give his best, he has elevated the profile of his sport forever. We are proud of our long association with him.”
“It’s cool to be able to look back at the last four years and the preparation for these Games. After looking at what happened this past week I can say that I’ve been able to do everything that I wanted to”, Michael Phelps said. “All of my goals have been accomplished.”
On the topic of his retirement from a swimming career of unparalleled in success, Michael Phelps said: “I’m taking it day by day. Wherever the road takes me, that’s where I’ll go”.
OMEGA brand ambassador Natalie Coughlin’s performance at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games added to her legacy as one of the greatest competitive swimmers of all time. She was the first American female athlete in Olympic Games history to win six medals in one Games and the first woman ever to win a 100-metre backstroke in two consecutive Olympic Games. After receiving a bronze medal in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay she now has a total of 12 Olympic medals, tying the record previously set by Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most decorated U.S. female Olympian.
Natalie Coughlin shared her tentative plans for the future, explaining that nothing was set in stone and decisions had yet to be made. “I love swimming. I’ll have to make a decision but not this week. I would eventually love to open a swim school, but that’s long-term”.
Live entertainment at Swimming Night included music from DJ Philly and DJ Ben Bridgewater, followed by a bongo player who kept guests entranced in the OMEGA House. Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos mingled with guests in the OMEGA House Secret Garden and staff wearing goggles served “molecular gastronomy” creations.
OMEGA is proud to have such a large family of trail-blazing Olympians who have established themselves as swimming heroes and congratulates each of them on their accomplishments.
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