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SwimNews History

From its origins as a newsletter sent to Canadian coaches in the 1970's, SwimNews has always been the most important and informative place for swimming news in the world. One of the only remaining independent publishers in the sport, SwimNews has never shied away from controversy or criticism. We have always provided insight into and analysis of the most compelling swimmers, coaches and defining moments. Meet the team below.


In February 1974, Nick Thierry, the founder and editor, originally published the first issue of the magazine as SWIM Canada with articles (written by Nick) covering the Canadian Commonwealth Games Trials. Nick was regarded as the leading authority in swimming and its foremost statistician, having developed the IPS ranking system that is used around the world to measure swimmer's times across events. His database of times and swimmer bios, developed through decades of painstaking data entry, was created by Nick who for almost 40 years went as far as to comb the world's newspapers looking for meet results to enter by hand into his ranking database. A swimmer and a coach, Nick placed swimmers on the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic teams and was head coach of the 1970 Canadian Commonwealth Games team. In 2001, Nick was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards for his contributions to the sport.


In 1997, the magazine was renamed SwimNews, shifting from strictly Canadian content to cover the world of swimming. In 1995, SwimNews.com was launched, making it one of the oldest swimming sites on the Internet. Created by Marco Chiesa, Nick's business partner and longtime SwimNews photographer, the site won a number of awards and has been recognised as one of the largest and busiest swimming sites on the web. Marco originally began his photography work with SWIM Canada magazine in 1985 before gradually taking on other aspects of the magazine production, helping lead the magazine to a more modernized all electronic production in 1990 before launching the website.


What many readers of SwimNews.com do not know is that SwimNews magazine was published in print format up to 10 times year with original content not available online. Produced by a team of about a dozen writers, many of whom still write today, the magazine was published up to 10 times a year.


In October 2012, Nick passed away. The last print issue of SwimNews magazine was published in December 2012 by Marco and a team of writers. It was also the first issue published in e-format, available as an iPad App on iTunes.


In December 2013 we re-launched SwimNews magazine in digital format. Over the ensuing months, the website will be upgraded to take on the magazine's format, including Making Waves. Content will also follow the magazine's original style, articles by swimmers and coaches, for swimmers and coaches. To contact us, please send an email to nikkidrydenATswimnews.com


Meet the team


Nick Thierry, founder and former editor in chief
Marco Chiesa, owner, photographer, and editor in chief

Nikki Dryden, writer and managing editor
Nikki is a two-time Canadian Olympic swimmer and a human-rights and immigration attorney. She competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, with a top finish of 6th place, and covered the 2004 and 2008 Olympics as a writer for SwimNews Magazine. Nikki has been a feature's writer for SwimNews since 1998 and has covered every major games, including the '02 and '06 Commonwealths, the '06 Pan Pacs, the '03, '05 and '07 Worlds, and the '99 Europeans.
Nikki's legal writing focuses on issues at the nexus of sport and human rights, including government sponsored doping, athletes rights, and gender discrimination in sport, excerpts of which often appear in SwimNews. She speaks and advises on these issues as well, including on Olympic campaigns for LGBT rights, Team Darfur and Human Rights Watch. You can follow Nikki on twitter @nikkidryden and you can reach her at nikkidrydenATswimnews.com
Adam Sioui, writer

Adam is a Canadian Olympian (2008) who swam the 100 and 200 fly and 4x200 relay in Beijing with a top finish of 5th. He is a two-time NCAA Champion and 19-time All American at the University of Florida. Adam also won three bronze medals at the '07 Pan Ams. Adam grew up in Trenton, Ontario, and now resides in Orlando, FL, where he's an aquatic director at a YMCA. Adam has been a Feature writer for SwimNews since 2006. You can find his musings on film at his website, CinemaHigh.com, or on Twitter @cinemahigh. He lives with his wife, Shirelle and his English Bulldog, Swampy.

Joanne Malar,  writer

Joanne is a three-time Canadian Olympian (1992, 1996 and 2000) and is a five-time Olympic finalist. She won two World Championship titles and 30 National titles during her career. Joanne has been a Feature writer for SwimNews since 2007 and was the swimming commentator for CTV at the 2012 Olympics and Olympic Trials. She also spent five years as a Health & Wellness Television Personality & Host with Global Television. Joanne is Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Head Coach of the Summerland ORCA Swim Club.

Casey Barrett, writer
Casey is a Canadian Olympian and is the co-founder of Imagine Swimming, New York City’s largest learn-to-swim school. He has won three Emmy awards and one Peabody award for his work writing and producing the Olympics on NBC. At the 2004, 2006, and 2008 Olympics, he served as one of Bob Costas’s Primetime Writers. Casey was also the founding editor and a columnist for SwimNetwork.com. He now writes his own blog, CapandGoggles.com. Casey launched his career at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and reached the Olympic B Final in the 200m Butterfly at the 1996 Atlanta Games, placing 11th overall. You can follow him on twitter @CapandGoggles and he can be reached at caseyATimagineswimming.com.
Erin Gaeckle, writer

Erin is a Junior at the University of Tennessee where she swims with Matt Kredich. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Erin is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Erin swims back and “occasional” breast and was a B Finalist at SECs as a first-year swimmer. She loves to write and she loves swimming. You can follow Erin @ErinGaeckle.

Elizabeth Beisel, writer 

Elizabeth is a two-time Olympic medalist, winning silver in the 400IM and bronze in the 200 back at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She also has a gold (400IM '11) and two bronze medals from three separate World Championships. Elizabeth is a Senior at the University of Florida where she swims with Gregg Troy and has won two NCAA titles. Elizabeth became just the 11th student-athlete in Florida history to be named Academic All-America of the Year, earning the distinction for the women’s At-Large team. She was also selected to the 2013 Academic At-Large First Team. Elizabeth is a communications major and has plans to become a broadcast journalist. You can follow Elizabeth on twitter @ebeisel34.

Matthew O'Connor, writer
Matthew is a British Olympian who competed in the 200 back at the 1992 Olympics. Matthew  qualified for the 1990  Commonwealth Games at aged 18 and finished sixth in the final. He also finished 4th in the 1994 Commonwealth Games and competed at the 1991 World University Games and 1993 World University Games where he finished 6th.
In 2009 Matthew opened the BEST Swim centre in Mallorca, Spain, with his business partner James Parrack, also a British Olympian. The BEST Centre has quickly become one of the best training sites in the world for both swimmers and triathletes. As well as being director of the BEST Centre, he has also organised numerous training camps for national aquatic teams during the past 10 years. Matthew  writes a weekly sports column for the Majorca Daily Bulletin. He holds numerous Spanish masters records and is former European record holder in masters 100 back and still enjoys taking a dip. You can  reach Matthew at MatthewOConnorATbestswimcentre.com
Elliot Meena, The Swim Scout

Elliot is a former University of Florida Gator who, after graduating in 2006, went to work on Wall Street in New York City.  It was there that his interest in the statistical analysis of swimming began, but it wasn’t until recently that SwimNews gave him the opportunity to translate his numbers into words.

While at Florida, Elliot was a National qualifier in butterfly, freestyle, and IM, and also earned Academic All-SEC status every year while majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.  After finishing his collegiate career, Elliot joined the swim team for New York Athletic Club where he was a National finalist in 2009.

Elliot just relocated from NYC to Charleston, SC to work for a software company focused on the non-profit sector, and you can find out more information about the statistical analysis work he is doing at TheSwimScout.com, follow him on Twitter @TheSwimScout, or you can reach him at elliotATtheswimscout.com

Fabio Terrone, writer
Fabio is a former swimmer and coach from Italy. He is a writer for Insweep.com and can be found online @insweep

Both Swimnews Magazine and Swimnews.com are independent organizations that receive no financial assistance from any National or International Swimming governing bodies or governments. However, we have always received immeasurable help from many members of the swimming community worldwide who contribute news, information and meet results to help keep our team and the rest of the swimming community informed. Please contact us at nikkidrydenATswimnews.com if you would like to contribute.

The SwimNews.com website and SwimNews magazine are the properties of SwimNews Publishing Inc. and SWIM Canada Magazine, respectively.