Swimming - Water Polo - Diving - Swimming USA
Daniel Kowalski OAM is a dual Olympian (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) with a swathe of Olympic, Commonwealth, Pan Pacific and World Championship medals to his name. Kowalski was part of the gold medal winning 4 X 200m relay team at the Sydney Olympics, an event that he and his teammates set a world record for two years earlier at the Commonwealth Games. Known widely for his abilities in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle, at the 1996 Olympics Kowalski was the first man in 92 years to win medals across each of the 200, 400 and 1500m freestyle events. Kowalski is currently the Olympian Services Manager at the Australian Olympic Committee and most recently competed with the Sydney Wett Ones at IGLA2019 in New York.
Daniel Kowalski winning Olympic Bronze in the 200m Freestyle in Atlanta 1996. Check out the adorable post swim interview with this link to youtube.
“IGLA provides an event where members of our community can take part in something they enjoy in a safe and inclusive environment. IGLA also serves as an opportunity to continue to educate the wider community and assist in breaking down barriers when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Emily Scott is a 27 year old queer women from Sydney who graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science and now works as a management consultant. She is also the CEO of Out for Australia, a volunteer not-for-profit that supports and mentors aspiring LGBTIQ professionals. Emily played seven seasons in the Australian water polo national league (including a silver medal in 2015), one season for the University of Hawaii and represented Australia at the under-18 and under-20 World Championships. Emily was instrumental in setting up the women’s program at the Sydney Stingers water polo club in 2018 and was proud to play with the Stingers in the competitive division at the 2018 World Gay Games in Paris. Emily is passionate about inclusion of LGBTIQ women both in and out of the sporting field and is looking forward to seeing high participation rates of LGBTIQ women at Melbourne 2020.
A former member of the Australian junior world championship water polo team and current CEO of Out for Australia, Emily brings to Melbourne2020 both a high-performance sporting background as well as a strong LGBT+ advocacy voice.
“Waterpolo is the best sport in the world. I'm proud to be a Melbourne2020 ambassador and the opportunity to give back to the sport that has brought me immense joy, strength and friendships.”
Mathew Helm is a three time Olympian (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) and has achieved medals in Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth competition, including two gold medals at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games at the very pool that will be used for IGLA 2020! Helm's individual 10m platform silver medal at the Athens Olympics was the first individual diving medal by an Australian male in 84 years. Now a diving coach with the West Australian Institute of Sport, Mat has also begun playing hockey with Perth’s LGBTIQ team the Pythons.
Mathew Helm securing an Olympic Silver Medal in the 10m platform event in Athens 2004. Check out his disbelief and his run of 9.5 and 10 scores:
“I think I have been really fortunate to have grown up, and compete in a sport where being gay was widely accepted, so I always felt that I belonged, and I didn’t need to hide who I was, or my sexual identity. I believe that having a gay and lesbian aquatics championships is an opportunity for athletes, or anyone wanting to get involved in aquatic sports, to train and compete in an environment that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, acceptance and tolerance.”
Tom Luchsinger is the 2013 USA Swimming National Champion in the 200M Butterfly. He attended the 2013 FINA World Championships finishing 5th in the event. He graduated from The University of North Carolina with a degree in Exercise & Sport Science. While at North Carolina, Tom was a 10 time All American, 12 time Atlantic Coast Conference medallist, and a five time Atlantic Coast Conference Champion. Tom was one of the first openly gay USA Swimming National Team members, coming out while competing in 2014 following a challenging first year as a professional athlete. Tom is the current Team Manager for Team New York Aquatics (TNYA) in New York City. He works in fundraising for Columbia University, and teaches swim clinics in addition to his responsibilities with TNYA.
Watch Tom coming smash the competition in the 200 butterfly final of the USA National Championships in 2013. Check out the newly crowned national champion poolside interview at the end :
“Growing up, there were two words that in my mind had always conflicted; athlete and gay. As a closeted high acheiving athlete, it was as if these two descriptions were constantly in conflict—I could not be both. By hosting, competing and supporting meets like IGLA, we are challenging these stereotypes and hopefully making sports a more inclusive environment”