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A picture of Suzanne Richardson, our Swim Coach

The Bloomington-Normal YMCA is incredibly excited to welcome Suzanne Richardson to the YMCA's staff as our new Swim Team Coach.

Suzanne Richardson began swimming in Bloomington-Normal at age 3. Some of her records still adorn the walls of pools around town. Her swimming career culminated on the international stage, where she ranked third in the world for the women’s 50 meter freestyle.

Locally, Suzanne has been a constant participant in the swimming community, beginning with age group swimming for Redbird Swim Club and Normal Parks. Since then, she has earned many championship titles in Junior Olympics and was the Illinois Girls’ High School State champion in the 50 yard freestyle her freshman year of high school. She was also a member of the Illinois State University swim team, where she was a scholarship swimmer. In 2008, Suzanne graduated from ISU with a Bachelors’ in Fine Arts.

Suzanne has received accolades in the national and international arenas as well. In 2000, she received an invitation to attend sessions at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she trained with the US Olympic Resident Team. Her success there qualified her to swim for the Brazilian National Team (as she holds dual citizenship) in the Sydney, Australia Olympics. During this time, Suzanne swam for Clube Internacional de Regatas, where she earned the title of Brazilian National Champion in the 50 meter freestyle and held the women’s record for both Brazil and South America.

Following her own swimming career, Suzanne gained 20 years of swim coaching experience. She was Assistant Coach for the Redbird Swim Club and mentored the team through 8 Senior State Championship titles. Her swimmers included a Paralympian National Champion and record holder as well as many other state and National qualifiers.

Suzanne is excited to share the knowledge and experience gained during her own swimming experience with the next generation of swimmers, parents, and friends. She is incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to usher in a new chapter of the YMCA swim program.

"We are elated to have Suzanne join the team as our new head swim coach," said Cassie DeGuido, our Senior Director of Program Development. "Suzanne's involvement on various swim teams including The Brazilian National Team partnered with her many years of experience providing coaching to swimmers makes her the perfect fit. We are so excited to witness how her creative and thoughtful approach to coaching will positively impact the YMCA swim team.  The Y looks forward to how Suzanne’s ideas can offer a swim team that embodies our mission and strengthens our community."