Damian’s ticket to Paris

08 May 2024
Written by: Swimming Victoria

Long standing Victorian Technical Official and Swimming Victoria Life Member, Damian Van de Berg has been appointed to officiate at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Damian will officiate at the Open Water 10km marathon events on the River Seine from 8-9 August.

Like many technical officials, Damian’s officiating journey began through his children, while they were swimming at the Cobram Barooga Swimming Club in the late nineties. He continued through the pathway, officiating at District level for Goulbourn Valley, before making regular trips to Melbourne for state events from 2008 onwards at both pool and open water events.

His passion for officiating continued to grow and he went on to represent Victoria at countless National Championships and has several international events under his belt. Highlights include the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Oceania Championships & Pacific Games, South-East Asia and World Masters Championships and the 2015, 2023 and 2024 World Swimming Championships.

Damian recalls his standout highlight earlier this year at the 2024 World Swimming Championships in Doha where he was appointed as Chief Referee for the Men’s 5km. He embraced the opportunity, including a protest at the finish, which he described as “memories and experience to cherish”.

But his involvement in swimming is not limited to officiating, he has held roles on the Swimming Victoria Board, as a State Selector and a committee member on the Victorian Open Water Committee and Swimming Australia Technical Swimming Committee.  

His expertise has also been called upon by World Aquatics, as a member on the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming Committee. Through this he has been a key contributor in delivering the World Aquatics 2024 version of Open Water Swimming Manual and the World Aquatics 2024 Open Water Swimming Rules review and adoption.

On his appointment to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Damian said “I appreciate all the support from working with so many people along the journey. Simply can’t do this without it, including my family for the last 25 years.”

This appointment is true recognition to someone who was given so much to the sport of swimming both locally and internationally. We wish Damian all the very best and look forward to hearing about it when he returns!

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