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(NECN: Jack Thurston, Essex, Vt.) - Machines sold by Vasa of Essex, Vt. let users go for a swim without getting wet.
"If you get the right technique, you're going to minimize your drag, maximize your propulsion, and swim faster," explained Rob Sleamaker, the founder and president of the athletic training equipment company.
Sleamaker has been producing training equipment for nearly 25 years, starting with cross-country ski trainers before shifting his focus to devices that work on swimming skills. He now sells units that aim to perfect form and build strength in top swim teams across the country and world. Customers include coaches for Olympic athletes.
"It feels great to play a small role in their success," Sleamaker said.
Open-water swimmer Alex Meyer, originally of Ithaca, N.Y., uses Vasa trainers for warm-ups and dry land workouts in Cambridge, Mass. The Harvard University graduate is headed to London later this month to compete in the Olympic Games. He told New England Cable News the Vermont brand has been critical to his gold medal quest.
"I've found it has been invaluable to my training for several different reasons," Meyer said. "I feel stronger and more fit since I've been using it for the past several years. And there's no other product like it."
When it comes to the sport of rowing, another Vermont company, Concept 2 in Morrisville, will have a big role at the Summer Games in London. Concept 2 is one of the world's leading manufacturers of lightweight oars, selling primarily to college and high school rowers.
"The Olympic teams are sort of the icing on the cake," explained company co-founder Pete Dreissigacker.
Brothers Pete and Dick Dreissigacker, who also have a large business producing rowing machines for gyms, expect their oars will be on two-thirds of the Olympic boats. Dick Dreissigacker said the upcoming races will be much different than his own competitions in the 1972 games in Munich, Germany.
"At the time, oars were considered an accessory, everyone was interested in the boat." he told NECN.
The former Olympian remembered oars then were wooden and much heavier. Many new Concept 2 composite oars are also skinnier, meaning, less drag.
"In a headwind, that would make a big difference," Dick Dreissigacker said.
Vasa and Concept 2 are proud to be behind some of the world's best athletes, and can't wait to see them test themselves on the world stage.