Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

Linfield grad keeps USA swimming churning

Life Between the Lanes

Stacey sitting in front of a five-Olympic ring figure in Tokyo

Posted on 01.28.22 by Eric Howald in College of Arts & Science, Athletics

If you can name a Team USA swimmer from the past two decades, there’s an excellent chance Stacey Michael-Miller ’96 worked with them in some capacity.

Stacey is USA Swimming’s director of support and services for the national team and manages the organization’s anti-doping compliance efforts.

“Primarily, I work on helping our athletes fund their Olympic training and travel to competitions,” Stacey said. “We want them to be able to focus on their training and alleviate financial burdens.

“The other major component is helping athletes make the transition out of the sport.”

She goes on, “There are several professional development resources we offer during their career to better prepare them for when they are ready to begin a new chapter.”

Stacey was drawn to Linfield by the opportunity to be part of the storied Wildcat swimming team. She competed alongside future Paralympian bronze medalist Jennifer (Snook) Butcher ’95.

After graduating with a degree in exercise science, the Gresham native earned a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts. A job with the U.S. Olympic Committee took her to Colorado where she soon joined USA Swimming and began moving up the ranks.

Stacey doesn’t rely on the sports psychology background as much as she once did, but she still sees it in action every day.

“Watching our athletes set and reach their goals is pretty impressive when they’ve worked so hard,” she said. “And I get the chance to see their process coming up through the junior team system and then onto the national team.”

Stacey standing in the bleachers at the 202 Tokyo Games with the Olympic swimming pool in the backgroundIn 2021, Stacey got to see the culmination of the athletes’ efforts for the first time. She traveled with the team to Tokyo as the COVID-19 liaison officer.

“I’d traveled with the team internationally a few times, but the Olympics were different,” she said. “The love I had for swimming from an early age added to the emotion of watching our swimmers on the podium and hearing the anthem played.”

While the 2020 Games were far from a traditional Olympic experience, walking through the Olympic Village created several memorable moments.

“The skateboarders were doing tricks up and down the middle of the village, there were rugby teams practicing on the lawn and people boxing in another area. The whole place has a unique energy as they prepare to compete,” Stacey said.

It was a different type of treat to see how the different national teams decorated their spaces – a statue of a kangaroo and coffee bar near the Australian team’s quarters stood out above the rest.

“It was odd for the pandemic to create a reason for me to go, but it was an incredible experience,” she said. 

“My appreciation for swimming drew me to this job originally and it’s given back in so many ways. I’m always thankful for the opportunities this job has afforded me and was honored to be a part of the Olympic Games staff.”

Linfield Olympians and Paralympians through the decades

Carrying the Torch

The following article shares incredible stories of Wildcats who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including Annie Flood '25, Jennifer (Snook) Butcher ’95, a two-time medalist and two founding members of the U.S. national handball team, Kevin Serrapede ’95 and Roger Baker ’68.