Stephen Parry's Kingsway visit. 26th September 2005. When younger Steve was a strong backstroker and freestyler and was a regular member of the Liverpool Penguins squad and attended Bluecoat School in Liverpool. He captained every team that he competed for and he was another of those great British athletes whose potential was realised in the United States Collegiate system. Under coach Neil Harper, as a Seminole (a student of Florida State University), his abilities in one of the toughest events, the 200m butterfly, were developed to such an extent that he was able to win the prestigious NCAA (American Championships) title in 1997 in a time of 1:44.28. Steve was to become the second most decorated swimmer in Florida State History and became an "All American" nine times between 1996-1999. He represented Great Britain for a decade and won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth championships and whilst a Stockport Metro swimmer, with great courage and determination, won an Olympic bronze medal after beating the eventual gold medalist Michael Phelps in the semi finals.
Retired from competitive swimming he is a great ambassador and spokesperson for swimming in the UK and he came to Halton to meet the young swimmers. His belief that swimming for youngsters should be fun is in agreement with Halton's long term philosophy. A great night was held when Steve Parry met the young Halton Swimmers and gave advice both on swimming and land training and it was especially good to see the young children from Runcorn Reps and Halton Swimming club swimming together.
Whilst Steve was a relatively successful junior swimmer, it is worth noting that he never won an individual National Age Group title and like Mark Spitz applied the principle of focussing on winning when it really matters.