Steve Martel, Swim Coach

Steve had to trick his parents into letting him swim. “My older sister wanted to try-out for the high school swim team and the coach suggested she do some training over the summer. My mom worked at a University where there was a club team, so she picked us up from school one day and we went to the pool for Debbie to try out. At the time, I was 10 years old, and my mom assumed that I was too young. I had secretly packed a swim suit for myself and when the time came, I begged them to let me get in the pool. By the time we left, we were both enrolled for a summer session that evolved into a 20 year swimming career.”

Steve quickly excelled in swimming, qualifying for state Junior Olympics, Junior Nationals, and then onto a 4 year college swimming career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I thought I would never swim again after competing at the collegiate level. I quit for an entire year, but eventually I made my way back to the pool. When I moved to San Francisco in 1995, I found it hard to be so far from home, but I found a comfortable niche with Tsunami.”

Steve spent a year in San Francisco, then moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California. After doing his time in L.A., Steve came back to San Francisco in the spring of ’99 and became very active with Tsunami, serving as a board member, social director, and now as a coach. “I’ve been active with Tsunami because it makes living in San Francisco less intimidating. I’ve made many great friends from the swim team, and swimming is a great way to keep me grounded, focused and goal oriented. It provides balance in my life.”

Steve has been coaching since April 2001. As a side note: Steve’s sister also continues to be very active in the pool, swimming the day before giving birth to a 9-pound baby girl.


Michael Richardson

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