Four-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, Lenny Krayzelburg will introduce his new swim academy Jan. 27 at the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center.
According to the Jewish Community Center (JCC), the public can see Krayzelburg free, and his appearance will launch a week of free swimming evaluations for young children. Swimming lessons will then start Feb. 3.
"(The academy is) based around teaching water safety and doing it the right way with the right skills. From there, we can start to introduce strokes," said Krayzelburg, who began the academy in 2005. "Every child wants to have peace of mind going into the water that they will be safe and I think we do a good job of making that possible."
Krayzelburg, a native of Odessa, said that the academy is part of a large-scale effort at Jewish Community Centers across the country including West Bloomfield and Oak Park.
He is scheduled to be at the JCC in West Bloomfield from 12 noon-2 p.m. and the JCC Oak Park from 3-5 p.m. on that Sunday.
JCC Aquatics Director Ronda Brodsky praised the program as a boon when combined with other offerings at the Center.
"Many learn to swim in programs that focus on covering yards of water ... once you're safe, then we will work on other issues. I think this will be a huge advantage to our program because we will be the only one in the area doing this," Brodsky said.
Krayzelburg led the 2000 Olympics in backstroke, setting a new record and helping the American team win a gold medal in the 4x100 m relay. In 2001, he participated in the Maccabiah Games in Israel and set a record in the 100-meter backstroke. In 2004, Krayzelburg returned to the Olympics in Athens, where he helped the Americans win a gold in the 4x100 m relay.
The West Bloomfield JCC is at 6600 W. Maple Rd., and the Oak Park JCC is at 15110 W. Ten Mile Rd. For information and to sign up for the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy, contact Brodsky at (248) 661-5430 or check out the JCC Aquatics Department at jccdet.org.