SPEEDO has named Akiko Thomson-Guevara, probably the country's most popular female swimmer, as its newest Swim Fitness Ambassador.
“I am very honored to be Speedo’s Swim Fitness Ambassador. I really hope that I can help promote the sport; to get more people in the pool," said Thomson-Guevara, a household name when she was competing in the 80s and 90s.
At 39, Thomson-Guevara is already an expert in finding the right balance. Despite her roles that include being a wife to inventor and entrepreneur Chips Guevara, a hands-on mom to two boys, a coach in her swim school, and a commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, she still finds the time to swim two to three times a week.
“I swim today because my body needs it. It calms me and it’s my way of staying fit... I always feel better after every swim,” says the three-time Olympian and many-time Southeast Asian Games medallist.
“I started swimming when I was six years old for the pure fun of it. I wouldn’t say I was passionate at that point but as I got more and more into the sport, my love for it grew," said Thomson, who would then join age-group swimming competitions and eventually be recruited to train for the national pool.
Thomson-Guevara got her first taste of the Olympics when she was just 13 years old. The young swimmer would eventually represent the country in three consecutive Olympics Games – Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, and Atlanta in 1996.
She would also win eight gold medals from five SEA Games.
A firm believer that swimming should be accessible to all as it is a life skill, the bemedalled athlete established the Akiko Thomson Swim School. Based in Colegio San Agustin in Makati, the school is dedicated to teaching kids, adults, and advanced swimmers.
When asked what goals she has yet to fulfill, Thomson-Guevera says that she envisions the inclusion of swimming as a form of therapy for children with special needs and infant swimming in her classes.
The former competitive swimmer now promotes Swim Fitness and encourages people to ‘Get Speedo Fit.’ “Swimming is a whole body workout and there’s minimal injury in the sport," she said.
Speedo is promoting Swim Fitness as the new fitness and elevating it as a fitness method to genuinely rival going to the gym, running, or playing a sport to keep fit.
When asked what her message is to people who want to try swimming, Thomson-Guevara exclaimed, “It’s never too late! Swimming is a sport that you can do for life, so inch your way on!”
Speedo concept shops are located in Abreeza Mall, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Bonifacio High Street, Centrio Cagayan de Oro, Fairview Terraces, Gateway, Glorietta 4, Harbor Point Subic, LimKetKai Mall, Lucky China Town Mall, Marquee Mall, Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Robinsons Place Bacolod, Robinsons Place Magnolia, Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Place Palawan, SM Aura, SM City Cebu, SM City Davao, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, The District Cavite, The Podium, and Trinoma