SwimMAC Carolina announced today that it has added two-time Olympic swimmer Roy Burch as Assistant Coach at the club’s Huntersville, N.C., location. With one of the most inspirational stories in competitive sports, Burch suffered a career-ending injury as he was training for his third Olympic quest. He will help coach swimmers in the Senior groups at SwimMAC’s Charlotte north location.
Burch competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and again at the 2012 Games in London as a member of the Bermuda contingent. In the midst of training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, he suffered a bi-lateral patella rupture in both his knees. Over the next six months, he worked his way back from being wheelchair bound to relearning how to walk, and finally getting back in the pool. Burch competed at the 2016 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in June and was able to score a FINA “B” standard as the lead-off leg of the Bermudian mixed freestyle relay. Sadly, it wasn’t a strong enough performance to secure a spot on the Olympic team.
In January this year, Burch announced his retirement and the start of his new career as a coach. In addition to his position with SwimMAC, Burch is the Head Swim & Dive Coach at Lake Norman Charter School in Huntersville.
“Roy Burch has faced and overcome great adversity in his life,” said SwimMAC Head Coach Terry Fritch. “As a swimmer, he has shown determination, hard work and how the love of a sport can result in success in the pool and in life. Because of his experiences and character, we are excited for him to join our coaching staff and mentor our young athletes.”
The addition of Burch to the SwimMAC coaching staff is the latest move for the club that is regaining its national prominence in the competitive swimming world. This fall, SwimMAC Carolina will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to SwimMAC,” said Burch. “The club played a pivotal role in my Olympic training. I’m excited to get to know everyone and share my love of swimming with all the kids training there. If I can help motivate one child or inspire them to pursue their dreams, then I’ll consider myself a success.”