If pro Marathon Swimmer Alice Dearing isn’t on your radar, she should be. She made history at her first Olympic games in 2020 as she became the first Black female swimmer to rep team GB in a swimming competition. Though she’s definitely not one to rest on her accolades, being a key figure in Nike’s undefeated lineup of female athletes and doing her fair share of activism on the side.
For most of us, sport is a fun activity we take on outside of work or school to feel-good, which is what it was like for Dearing who picked up swimming before the age of 10. “I’ve never really viewed it as something that I was ever going to be good at,” she humbly tells Culted. “It wasn’t really until I was 22 years old that I realised I had a chance to make the Olympic games.”
Dearing took that chance and swam with it. She’s got a clear objective now set in stone: “I’m trying to get to the Paris 2024 games,” she says. After an already historic Olympic debut, Dearing won’t stop pushing her body and mind to their limits until she lands herself on that podium. Though Alice’s road to the top wasn’t as straightforward as you would think, having experienced some step backs. If anything, this has motivated the athlete even more, learning from her mistakes and building in resilience as she challenges herself to be the best sportswoman she can be.
Through thick and thin, from Olympic pool to natural waters, Nike has joined the 24-year-old on her journey to the top. Swimwear, just like any other athletic gear, can make or break competition day, which is why Nike is always innovating its designs, prioritising both comfort and performance.
Apart from providing her the best gear possible, Nike has become Dearing’s biggest supporter, pushing her to become the best version of herself. The swimmer has joined Nike’s Athlete Think Tank 3.0, a global initiative that invites female athletes to participate in workshops dedicated to understanding their needs and hearing their ideas for expanding sport for the next generation.
The sportswear and lifestyle brand has an unparalleled commitment to women, working with female athletes, designers and other creatives and sports figures. Essentially, Nike is putting her at the forefront of its innovation, listening to her needs to make her feel as comfortable as possible for an unrestricted performance.
“Nike supports me as a sportswoman by just believing in me and backing me,” explains Dearing, but it’s the overall empowerment of women that really encourages her. “To be able to stand on the start line and go ‘I’m that girl for them’ is just really special.”
Not only has Dearing become an accomplished athlete for young girls and women to look up to, she also shares her wisdom, skills and forté to a larger community with the Black Swimming Association which she co-founded in 2020. It’s for “everybody and anybody learning to swim and basic water safety,” she says. The BSA isn’t just an inclusive place for education, but also a force to tackle inequalities within the swimming space, something Dearing herself has been exposed to.
“I have faced a little bit of racism as I’ve gone along,” she tells us, adding “race shouldn’t be a factor which stops people from swimming.” With her own personal achievements and with the efforts of the BSA, Dearing is changing the world of aquatic sports for the better. One quick scroll through her Twitter shows just how dedicated Dearing is to the cause, constantly uplifting her community and encouraging beginner and advanced swimmers alike.
Less than a year to go til the 2024 Paris Olympics, Dearing isn’t going anywhere except up in the ranks, racking up those medals. As for Nike, its goal remains the same: supporting and uplifting young women in sports, including Dearing, and Aaliyah Powell, the pro taekwondo practitioner.
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