This week, we were honored to host four-time Paralympic gold medalist and world record Italian swimmer Antonio Fantin for a practice session in our Upper East Side Olympic Pool before his speech at the United Nations.  

Before taking his talents to the world stage, Antonio swam predominantly for the sport division of the Italian police force. Throughout his career, Antonio has shared our advocacy for the life-changing benefits of sports. 

 During his visit to the United Nations, he spoke about how sports can be used to prevent and decrease crime around the world.  

Tomorrow you are going be speaking at the United Nations. How does it feel to be able to have that experience? 

It’s going to be such a wonderful experience. I think it will be the first time [a police statement officer from Italy of Adorno will speak]. I will be speaking about how sports can be an effective tool to combat crime, so it will be wonderful, beautiful, and I’m sure I will feel a lot of important feelings. 

At Asphalt Green, our mission is to provide sports, fitness and play for everybody.  Can you speak about the importance of accessibility?

Access to sports and swimming is essential, and should be provided to people of all abilities, ages, genders. Sports are for everyone... and not only swimming, but all kinds of sports.  

Every sport is a life lesson for young people especially, but also for everyone, because when you are in your activity, in the pool, or [anywhere else], you have to do your best. You have to pay attention to your teammates and share with others, and that is why sports are such a wonderful part of our lives.  

You are the world record holder in the 100-meter freestyle, but you also broke your own world record recently. Can you speak about your constant drive to improve? 

Yes, I’m always working to increase my records and times. But in everything we do, we must try to improve ourselves. It could be a different type of work, another job, another sport, or activity. We all have our own records. Everyone should try to do their best.  

How Asphalt Green Brings Sports to All 

At Asphalt Green, we are inspired by Antonio’s efforts to expand access to swim instruction and emphasize the life-changing benefits sports can offer on and off fields of play.  

We execute our mission to transform lives and build community through sports, fitness, and play for all through a variety of free and low-cost community programs and scholarships. This year, we launched our Wave Makers program, a groundbreaking partnership that breaks down barriers to swim instruction. Our Community Sports Leagues help thousands of New York City students participate in organized sports free of charge, and in the past fiscal year, we’ve offered over $430,000 in scholarship funding to our nationally competitive teams. You can learn more about our mission and life-changing programs below! 

Learn More About Asphalt Green