Of the 684 Olympic athletes representing the United States in Tokyo, a total of 53 did so in the pool.
Of the 53 swimmers boasted by the US, every name on the roster had previous club swimming experience or was currently a part of club team. This statistic speaks volumes to the level of importance of club swimming within the sport.
As alluded to, competitive club swimming has become increasingly important in the eyes of swimming experts.
According to USA Swimming, there are currently more than 3,000 club swim teams in the United States. In addition, a total of 1,061 colleges across all levels offer either a men's or women's swim team.
Many young swimmers reserve their talent for their local summer swim team or wait until high school to truly dedicate themselves to swimming.
However, being a member of a club swim team has never been so important in the swimming world. Of the 53 US Olympic swimmers, there were 11 teenagers, four of which were current members of a club swimming team.
Two of the four teenagers took home a medal from Tokyo, while another just missed a medal with a fourth-place finish.
The instant success of these four teenager and the continued success of stars such as Katie Ledecky can be at least somewhat attributed to their club swimming experience.
Elite swimming clubs, such as the Sandpipers of Nevada and the Nation's Capitol Swim Club, give elite-level swimmers unmatched levels of exposure to college scouts.
Not only do these elite clubs provide a platform for elite swimmers to perform, it creates a positive community that immensely benefits young swimmers.
When 17-year old Lydia Jacoby took home the 100-meter breaststroke gold medal in an upset of world record holder and fellow American Lilly King, the latter expressed nothing but support for Jacoby.
"We love to keep that gold in the USA family," said King. "This kid just had the swim of her life and I am so proud to be her teammate and proud to get bronze for my country."
Not only do the clubs create a positive environment for the swimmers, but it also allows for young swimmers to surround themselves with elite coaches and fellow athletes.
For example, silver medalist Bella Sims is a member of the Sandpipers of Nevada, alongside a handful of fellow Olympic representatives.
With more than 3,000 club swim teams in America, there are more opportunities than ever for young swimmers to get plugged in and begin their careers.
The USA Swimming website provides a search tool for prospective athletes to find the nearest club swim teams close to their location. In addition, the search tool provides the address and contact info of the club.