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3-time Olympic gold medalist visits Henrico to encourage young swimmers

Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-14 22:49:57-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- One local swim school got the surprise of a lifetime on Sunday.

Students of the Goldfish Swim School were cheered on by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Murphy. He stopped by to encourage young swimmers.

He tells CBS 6 the activity could make a difference between life and death.

"As young as possible, getting kids comfortable in the water and water safe is huge and I think it could potentially save a life," said Murphy.

Ryan Murphy

"My children are doing a myriad of extracurricular activities, swimming included of course. But swimming is really the only one that is only going to save their life," said Suzannah Zachos Regional Manager of Goldfish.

The swim school has a partnership with the U.S. Swimming Association and their "Make A Splash Campaign," where the importance of pool safety is taught to even the littlest of swimmers as young as four months old.

"Not only are we teaching the child the essential safety skills...We're teaching the parents. And that repetition that we’re providing with these children week over week helps them then become much more confident," said Zachos

"So when Ryan Murphy is here, whose mastered so many skills we like learn all the time it's really nice to have him and be like we could be like that one day," said swim student Ana Zachos.

Ryan Murphy

"Hopefully I can do something to brighten their day and maybe give them a little tip here and there that can make a difference in their progression in the sport," Murphy added.

For more information on how you can sign up your little one for swim lessons click here.