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CNN Business: Losing to Michael Phelps helped turn this star swimmer into a successful entrepreneur
CNN Business: Losing to Michael Phelps helped turn this star swimmer into a successful entrepreneur

Big Blue Swim School founder and CMO Chris DeJong tells CNN Business about the obstacles he overcame to create Big Blue Swim School, and the growth plans for the brand in the years to come.

Chris DeJong was ranked 4th in the U.S. and 5th in the world in the backstroke as a swimmer at the University of Michigan. With the same coach as swimming legend Michael Phelps, DeJong missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympics by three-tenths of a second to Phelps. However, missing his Olympic dream fueled DeJong to found what would become Big Blue Swim School in 2009. Starting as a standalone school in Wilmette, Illinois, Big Blue Swim School grew from 600 to 2,200 families essentially overnight - leading the partners to open new locations throughout Illinois. The company expects to have 45 new locations by the end of 2019 and 150 locations by 2020 in markets like Florida, Texas, Southern California, Denver, Charlotte, Northern New Jersey, Georgia and Washington, D.C. 

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