2 min read
20 Apr

Staff/May 2021

Claire Wang currently serves as the lead coach for the Bay Area Synchro team in the South Bay San Jose area of Northern California. While away at school, she writes and reviews choreography, provides online coaching and assistance for Bay Area Synchro's swimmers, a majority of whom are athletes with disabilities. Claire also serves on the Board of Directors for the non profit advocacy organization, Artistic Swim AWD (Artistic Swimming for Athletes with Disabilities) as a coaching representative. 

Claire is a former synchro swimmer from the Santa Clara Aquamaids. During her 8 years as a nationally and internationally ranked swimmer on  the team, she accomplished and earned many competition medals including:
*3 times US National Team Member

*Team Captain of US National Team (2013)

*Gold medalist at Pan American Championships in Peru and Columbia

Claire is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA and is pursing her education and career in the medical field. Not only is she proficient in Mandarin, but also Spanish. 

She has done amazing things to promote athletes with disabilities globally. This passion was sparked by her own desires to see the sport of artistic swimming become more inclusive. During her time (2015 to current) with the Artistic Swim AWD Organization she has:

*Promoted the grassroots movement to include Artistic Swimming in the Paralympics.
*Assisted with grant funding, managing funds, and fundraising for disability awareness. 

*Coach/Choreographer and while in Pennsylvania for people with disabilities
*Awarded the 2016 President Obama's Volunteer Service Award for exceptional volunteer service.  

*Awarded the California Samsung Community Hero Award sponsored by the California State Assembly, Honorable Kansen Chu.

*Recognized by the California State Assembly, Honorable Kansen Chu for her work in adding another opportunity for sports for our population with disabilities.

Claire has also developed and continue to oversee training ideas for athletes with disabilities (AWD) for long term athlete development and was instrumental in getting the Artistic Swim AWD coaching program recognized by Team USA as one of the first Organization's available for athlete training for future Paralympic Games. 

We asked Claire to tell us about what it meant to be an Asian swimmer in Artistic Swimming and what are her views now. Here is what she said:

 "I swam for the Santa Clara Aquamaids and was the former Team Captain of the U.S National Team. As I became older, I began to realize the relative lack of diversity on my own local club team, in terms of including athletes from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. My team was located in the Bay Area and there was a large proportion of Asian athletes. I believe that having a team from a diverse background would have helped create a better world of inclusion and equity and would have set a positive example for other clubs. My experiences as an Asian athlete and passion for the healthcare world has inspired me to pursue a career as a physician. As a physician, I plan to understand my patient's cultures and to create a world of inclusion and trust".

As part of the Bay Area Synchro team, Claire has been able to understand and appreciate the diversity, equity and inclusion that the team brings to our community. 100% of the swimmers and coaches from the Bay Area Synchro team reflect our diverse community population of LatinX, Black, African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Bi/Multi ethnicities and LGBT. During these times of understanding the greater need for equity and inclusion, having our coaching staff and swimmers learn from each other and to be able to meet everyone's needs is tantamount to the careers and community service where they will end up working and volunteering.

We applaud and thank Coach Claire for her service and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to make our world and community a better place for all.

* The email will not be published on the website.