Alex Baumann Announced as Swimming Australia’s New CEO

Swimming Australia is delighted to announce that dual Olympic gold medallist, Alex Baumann, has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive of Swimming Australia.

Baumann, the current Swimming Australia Chief Strategist who leads the high performance arm of the organisation, is a Canadian native who won gold medals in the 200m and 400m individual medley at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

IN SAFE HANDS: Alex Baumann has already embraced his new role as CEO of Swimming Australia – a people’s person who knows swimming inside out. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

With a wealth of knowledge in elite sporting organisations, he is the former Executive Director for the Queensland Academy of Sport and Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Swimming.

After returning to Canada to head up its high performance sport program (Own the Podium), Baumann was then appointed as Chief Executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand and is credited with helping New Zealand achieve its greatest ever Olympic team performance in Rio in 2016 with 18 medals.

Baumann, who will start his new role in May, certainly has a clear message for the future of the sport, saying: “It is great to be able to put my CEO hat on again and take on the role leading the organisation into the future.

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“Swimming is Australia’s most successful Olympic sport, but I want to see us become a leading sport within the fabric of the country.

“Having led our high performance team for the past few years, of which I am extremely proud I am really looking forward to working with our president Kieren Perkins, our Board and our Member Organisations to reach our collective goals.”

Perkins today welcomed and congratulated Baumann on his appointment, noting he was a standout candidate from within the initial internal recruitment process.

“In our recruitment process, we initially asked for expressions of interest from within our own Member Organisations and Executive team,” Perkins said.

“The Board felt we had strong talent from within our own swimming ranks and wanted to explore that further before casting the net wider if necessary.

“Alex has extensive experience both within leadership roles across other organisations and high performance sport, and I think his credentials speak for themselves.

“He is highly regarded, not just within Swimming Australia, but with all our Member Organisations and impressed us with his vision for our sport.

“His current role means he already has an important strategic influence on the organisation and we are very excited to see him transition into the CEO role.

“One of the first jobs Alex will undertake is a strategic review of the business with an eye on Paris and beyond.

“I would like to thank Tim Dempster for the exceptional work he has carried out in the role as interim CEO, Tim will now return to his role as Chief Operating Officer. Baumann said he was thrilled to be appointed as CEO.”

From Olympic Gold To Shaping The Future Of Sport

Alex Baumann was one of Canada’s greatest swimmers, winning gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in both the 200m and 400m individual medley races in world record times. He also won five gold medals and two silver medals at the 1982 Brisbane and 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games – setting the only world record in the pool in Brisbane.

Since being a top athlete himself, he has gone on to coach others and become involved in top sports administration.

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FRONT MAN: Alex Baumann addresses the media at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

He was twice named World Male Swimmer of the Year, in 1981 and 1984, and is a member of the Canadian Sports and Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame. Canada has also honoured him with the Order of Ontario, an Honorary Doctorate (PhD) in Physical Education from Laurentian University, and by making him an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Alex was born in Prague and moved to Canada with his family as a child. He spent 15 years living in Australia.

During which time he was the Executive Director for the Queensland Academy of Sport and Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Swimming.

Alex returned to Canada as the Executive Director of the Road to Excellence programme and later became the Chief Executive Officer of Own the Podium to work with their high performance athletes, coaches and support staff.

Alex was appointed as the Chief Executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand in February, 2012, where he was instrumental in rolling out the HPSNZ Strategic plan to 2020.

From 2012 until the end of 2017 he was involved in the London Olympics with New Zealand athletes and teams winning 13 medals. Paralympics similarly had great success with New Zealand winning a total of 17 medals .

At the Sochi Winter Olympic Games New Zealand ended with four athletes in the top eight.

At the Commonwealth Games New Zealand won 45 medals with an impressive 14 golds.

The Rio Olympics produced the best ever New Zealand Olympic team performance, 18 medals in 9 different sports.

Alex resigned as CEO HPSNZ on 1 September 2017 to the Gold Coast to be closer to his family and extended family.

He accepted the position of Chief Strategist for Swimming Australia in February 2018. The position is responsible for Australia’s high performance swimming program.

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)