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Jay Thomas Enjoying An Olympic Dream

Images courtesy of NHK-TV.

Jay Thomas is everywhere. Not only does the veteran pilot fly all over the world, he has also flown 747’s full of tourists to Rio de Janeiro.

Thomas has also spent countless time volunteering to officiate, organize and plan for open water swims for decades.

But he first got his start as an official in the pool.

I was asked to start some races, and I really enjoyed it, so I kept doing more and more,” Thomas told Mike Watkins of USA Swimming. “I had no idea at the time that it would become what it is today.”

After 3 FINA World Championships, several USA Swimming National Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and Pan American Games, and 3 Olympic Trials, the former Navy pilot and current owner of several fitness studios found himself at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as a turn judge.

Shown behind Japan’s Kosuke Hagino in the 200 individual medley final, Thomas’ seriousness was clearly shown in television broadcasts around the world.

I’m very humbled because there are over 12,000 officials in the United States, and I was chosen for the Olympics. It’s a great honor because I was nominated for this, and that means I’m doing a good job. That’s really most important. People have asked me if this is my dream, and while it was never a goal, it’s a tremendous opportunity. .”

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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