American swimmer Beata NelsonFor the second consecutive season, she was eliminated from the United States roster in the World Short Course Championships where she would have been a star for Team USA.
American 100 IM record holder, Nelson, even with no short-track world championships or an International Swimming League season, has found a way to make big profits this fall in short track races — her specialty.
Nelson is second among all scorers in the first round of three stages at this year’s World Cup tournament, which she earns so far is $10,000.
She is also in a strong position to finish second overall in the series, which will earn her $70,000 in total prize money, plus three prize money per encounter.
In total, she could have netted an impressive $100,000 prize money from this fall’s World Cup season in just two weeks of racing.
She also has four chances (100 times, 200 times, 100 IM, 200 IM) to earn an additional $10,000 in Crowns rewards – winning an event in all three races this season.
Nelson has faced the toughest competition you’ll see for most of her initial events, but Hauge will also have competition in her top events, with swimmers like Katie Ledecky, Lea Smith and Summer McIntosh.
Although not a requirement, the system essentially makes it impossible for any athlete to finish high in the overall standings without swimming in all three meet.
It all adds up to big pay for Nelson this fall, her first full season on the World Cup circuit. In fact, I came close to the $155,800 I earned in 13 weeks of racing in last year’s ISL season.
Nelson’s absence from the United States’ squad for the 2022 World Short Games Championship is a farce. She’s a professional swimmer who does positive things for American swimming (and makes great strides on a long course, which is the course the American swimming brass seems to care about). She is a member of the US national team. Most importantly, it is a serious contender for the medal in two events as the US does not have a maximum of two entries – 100 IMs and 200 IMs.
Two golds, best case scenario, could get Nelson $30,000 in the short world championship, but the world cup series will earn it at least three times what you would earn in the short world championship in prize money.
But Nelson appears to have discovered something that only one swimmer per generation does: There is a lot of money to be made in the World Cup series for a great short course swimmer willing to commit.
Perhaps just as importantly, Nelson will have plenty of balls while swimming as one of the stars of the World Cup. She will get more publicity, more headlines, and more attention to herself and her sponsors (if she chooses to take advantage of that).
Nelson remains elusive to ever win a world long championship or an Olympic team, and unless USA Swimming changes its short course selection, it looks like he may be out of reach as well. I doubt she would give up any of those dreams, but the road to those teams will be tough.
But Nelson could become the first swimmer to prove that you can make a great career in the sport without doing any of the above.
Some will see it as a slight to her career, but I instead consider it an innovation. In 100 years, when someone writes the history of swimming, Nelson should have a class as the missing link on the path to truly professional swimming.
Nelson results, World Cup in Berlin:
- 50 times – 5th place, 26.47
- 100 IM – Runner-up, 57.82 (.10 from American Record)
- 100 times – 1st place, 56.03
- 200 Noon – 1st place, 2: 02.59
- 200m – 1st Place, 2: 06.80
Top 5 Women’s, Berlin Stop, 2022 World Cup Series:
- Siobhan Hogi, Hong Kong – 58.5
- Beata NelsonUSA – 57.3
- Kylie Maas, Canada – 53.1
- Ruta Milutite, Lithuania – 52.2
- Beryl Gastaldello, France – 52.1