ZUMO Performance of the Week: Konstantin Grigorishin Announces ISL Solidarity Program to Fund Athletes Ahead of Tokyo

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick


This week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week goes to Konstantin Grigorishin and the International Swimming League (ISL) for announcing the Solidarity Program, which will fully fund all 320 swimmers in the league for ten months leading up to the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. All swimmers will receive $1500 a month, and $11 million has been set aside for wages, bonuses and prize money.

All 10 ISL teams, swimmers, coaches and support staff have been invited – at ISL expense – to 5-week solidarity camp in October-November for training and competition as a catalyst to reunite the world swimming community. The location of the said camp has not been finalized with Swimming Australia recently making a campaign for the Gold Coast Aquatic Center as a potential destination.

A reality TV concept for the camp may have commercial spin-offs to further help fund swimming and swimmers at a time when subsidized funding of the sport may take a hit because of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

The 30 ambassadors for the League, including the likes of Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty, Caeleb Dressel, Sara Sjostrom, Chad Le Clos, Katinka Hosszu and Sarah Sjöström, will receive between $3,500 and $5,000 a month for the same 10-month period.

Summing up the wages at $6m, Grigorishin tells Swimming World:

“This is nothing if you’re talking soccer or basketball but it’s a big deal in swimming.”

A level to keep swimmers in swimming? “This is our main goal,” says the ISL founder.

ISL letter in full:

Dear Athletes,

As you all already know, the entire world is going through undeniable challenges in relation to COVID-19 with the ISL being no exception.

We believe the athletes of ISL are its main asset and considers all of them as partners. To acknowledge this, we have decided to provide support for our athletes in 2020-2021 by implementing the ‘ISL Solidarity Program’ during which the ISL will organize a radical swimming event unprecedented in swimming history.

Through the ISL Solidarity Program each athlete that has signed or will sign a contract with an ISL Club will receive an equal amount of money per month, starting 1st September 2020 until 1st July 2021. This financial grant shall assist the swimmers during these challenging times to prepare for major events in 2021 and a full ISL season in 2021/22.

We strongly believe that the International Swimming League is the future of competitive swimming, and our program for 2020-2021 takes into consideration feedback from our athletes and coaches and respects the need for a full training preparation before summer 2021. As part of our initiative, ISL will organize later in 2020 an innovative training and competition experience for athletes and coaches for a duration of 4-5 weeks.

We propose to host all athletes in one location in a world-class facility and cover all associated expenses. All athletes involved will have the opportunity to be accompanied by their home coach.

During this period, scheduled from 14 October to 17 November, ISL will organize a commercial tournament in its revolutionary club format and add an exciting new reality concept to the production. The global exposure of this event will furthermore enhance the athletes’ profiles and increase the popularity of our sport. We strongly believe that this event, never before seen in swimming history, will serve as a demonstration of solidarity, humanity and unity of the swimming community to the entire world.

We are all in this together,


Konstantin Grigorishin and the International Swimming League have been tremendous in helping the sport of swimming grow in just the last 12 months. His efforts in helping the best swimmers in the world truly become professionals have been noticed by this publication and for that, he is the recipient of this week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week.


Previous ZUMO Performances of the Week

Phelps, M. 07 1621

ZUMO Performance of the Week: 13th Anniversary of Michael Phelps’ 400 IM to Cap off 2007 World Championships


ZUMO Performance of the Week: Canadian Athletes & Olympic Committee Force IOC U-Turn On Tokyo 2020


ZUMO Performance of the Week: Adam Peaty Swims 58.1 100 Breast With Ease

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x