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Monday, September 22, 2014

A GAY MIAMI SWIM TEAM. Yes, Nadadores of South Florida, Celebrating 20 years of Chlorination.





In this era of gay rights successes, marriage equality and openly gay Olympians why would Miami, or any city for that matter, need a gay Masters swim team.  I mean the landscape for LGBT men and women has changed so much that anyone of any orientation should be able to walk on a pool deck or beach and jump in. Why do you need a Gay Swim Team?

As Team Captain I'd like to say "you are truly welcome here!" We invite people of all swimming abilities from former Olympians to doggie paddlers.  Our program accommodates everyone. We welcome all body types, which is important, because too often I hear people staying away from swimming, or life, because they feel they don't look good in a bathing suit.  We strive for friendliness and camaraderie. You will not be a stranger with us!  

Firstly I'd like to thank John Roe and John Olsen for setting up the team 20 years ago. Mr. Roe was really quite understated about the foundation of the team and really just started it because he wanted to make his job more interesting at the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Miami Beach.   He was dealing with kids all day and thought adding an adult masters team would make things a bit interesting. Knowing other swimmers was helpful, but at the time South Beach was at it's gay peak and he advertised for swimmers in the personal sections of local gay magazines such as Hotspots and Wire. 

Guys showed up and a swim team was born. The name Nadadores was chosen because it reflected the diversity of South Florida and the team's slogan "Go Nads!" is a double entendre was not lost on anyone. Throughout the years the team has competed in international competition in Sydney, Copenhagen, Chicago, Paris, Reykjavik, Cologne and Cleveland.  Several members of the team compete nationally, Cory Welch  qualified for the past Olympic trials in breaststroke and is ranked 1 in the world in Masters breaststroke. 

Miami's bathing beauties....
What do we offer? We offer professional coaching, group and private swim lessons and a good time. Practices occur at an excellent swim facility or join us for our weekly ocean swim on Sundays. Please visit our website at http://www.nadadores.org/.

So how "gay" is our team. Well, is anything as gay as it used to be?  The team boasts a monthly roster of about 80 people. They hail from all over the world and the U.S.  Are they mostly gay? No, the days of us being exclusively gay are long gone. There are plenty of guys and gals on the team, but we don't ask, but if we find out we will tell. Couples have met on the team, and we have officially two marriages to our credit, one straight, one gay.

Having fun in this year's suits!
So getting back to the original premise of the "why" for a "gay" swim team.  Truthfully we could say it's about needing a safe space, or a comfort zone, or a "birds of a feather" experience.  However as LGBT community becomes more integrated, the need for such things is fading away.  What is needed however is a group of people can share a passion for something outside of themselves. To spend an hour submerged splashing around, burning an amazing amount of calories with really nice people. That's what the Nadadores of South Florida is about. It's about fun, fitness and competition. 

NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SWIMMING ABILITY, YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US.

Come celebrate 20 years of fun with us a Noche Nadadores!  Thank you Miami for making us a success!