We’re all aware of the whirlwind of tension happening in our nation’s capital. Since it is such an interesting and tumultuous time politically, it was certainly unexpected when images emerged on Twitter of the Cal men’s swim team with President Trump at the White House.
Cal head coach David Durden was able to help provide some more context as to how the invitation came along after Cal men’s swim won the NCAA title in the spring.
“So it was interesting you know, we’ve won in these last eight, nine years, four national titles. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of ten national team titles in swimming — four as a head coach, six as an assistant — and you know, this is the second time we’ve ever received an invitation to go to the White House,” Durden said.
But the visit was more than just a trip to the White House.
“It was a good experience for the whole team, we just kind of went down there to get the whole process of going to D.C. We met with some representatives of the Berkeley area, also with Under Armour — they’re our sponsor — and just a bunch of alumni down there who always support us,” said Cal swimmer Trenton Julian, a campus junior.
“Obviously, we were out there in a very interesting time, and so it’s an interesting time in our country’s history. And for our guys to be there, understand what’s going on, be in the hallways of the building where this piece of history is happening right now is really cool. It was really fun to do that,” Durden said.
According to Julian, the team was able to meet with other political figures in addition to President Trump, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier.
While other Cal men’s swimmers were not available to comment, Julian summed up the trip as “a good experience for the team.”
According to Cal sports information director Gerrit Van Genderen, the team sent a videographer on the trip to document each stop along the way. Van Genderen said a video should be up sometime later this week.
Cal men’s swim’s experience shows that the timing of these invites can be quite random. But with all of the aforementioned extracurricular stops, one can certainly understand the importance of this experience.
No matter where your personal politics lie, going to the White House is an enormous event. It’s not an everyday opportunity to walk such historic halls.
Amber Fang covers men’s swim & dive. Contact her at