arena is pleased to announce an extension to its long-standing collaboration with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú through to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The now-legendary Iron Lady has been a partner of the three-diamond brand for 10 years, during which time she has won three Olympic and eight World titles.
“I’m really happy to continue my partnership with arena,” said Katinka. “Over the course of my career, which is now approaching 20 years, it’s been important to have some constants in my life, and one of those for me has been arena. They’ve been at my side throughout, giving support in good times and bad, and consistently producing the best swimwear around. I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with them over the next 3 years.”
Katinka’s love of water was nurtured by her grandfather, who started taking her to the pool as a 2-year-old in the south of Hungary where she grew up. By the time she was 10 she was training twice a day, and in 2004 she made her first Olympic appearance as a 15-year-old in Athens. Following her maiden world title (400m IM) in Rome in 2009, Katinka moved to Los Angeles to study and train with the NCAA Div. I USC Trojans, where she enjoyed a highly successful stint that culminated in her winning the 2011 Honda Sports Award as the nation's top women's swimmer.
In 2012, Katinka returned to Hungary, adopting a fresh approach to swimming, and within months the changes bore fruit. Her amazing performances in a loaded programme at the 2012 Beijing leg of the FINA World Cup – where she medalled in 5 out of 8 events over the course of 2 days – she left the Chinese press scrambling for superlatives, and coining a nickname that has stuck ever since: The Iron Lady. Since then she’s gone from strength to strength, winning 8 long course (LC) and 16 short course (SC) world titles, coming out tops in five consecutive FINA World Cup series, and setting a total of two LC and 18 SC world records; she is the current holder of 4 world records, and is the first swimmer in history to hold all five IM world records concurrently.
Katinka reserved the Rio Olympics for her finest achievement, winning three gold medals (100m backstroke, 200m & 400m IM) and narrowly missing a fourth in 200m backstroke as she came second by just 0.06s. Her 400m IM performance was particularly impressive as she broke the 400m IM world record by over 2 seconds and dominated the race from start to finish, touching almost 5 seconds ahead of the silver medal.
Following her Olympic success, Katinka continued to rack up milestones: at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, she swam the 6th fastest time in history to successfully defend her 200 IM title; later that year, she swept all 3 events in both backstroke and IM at the European Short Course Championships in Copenhagen; at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, she became the only woman to ever win 5 straight European titles in a single event (200 IM); at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, she became the first woman to win 4 straight World titles in the same event (200 IM), and later in the meet did the same in the 400 IM, becoming the first female swimmer to win 5 titles in the same event; several months later she won her 300th gold medal in the FINA World Cup series, became the most successful female swimmer in the history of the European Short Course Championships, winning 4 titles in Glasgow for a grand all-time total of 20 gold medals, and with her Team Iron was a founding member of the International Swimming League; in 2021 at the postponed 2020 European Championships in Budapest, she became the most successful female swimmer in the competition’s history with an all-time total of 24 medals dating back to 2008.
Among her many accolades, Katinka is also a four-time FINA Swimmer of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018), seven-time Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year, (2009, 2013-2017, 2019), and four-time European Swimmer of the Year (2013, 2014, 2016, 2019).
In her role with arena, Hosszú makes important contributions to the company’s product development cycle by testing and giving feedback on new racing suits. In addition, over the years the brand has released several high-profile lines of swimming, fitness and athleisure wear bearing her name.
“Katinka has been at the heart of our brand for many years now,” said arena deputy CEO Giuseppe Musciacchio. “Her contribution has been massive, and in her role as ambassador she has been a true role model, with her discipline, work ethic, determination, passion, and generosity. She inspires and she gives back to the sport, and her ability to endure and come back from adversity is a real example to swimmers and youngsters in general. We’re proud to have her in our corner, and look forward to achieving greater heights together over the coming years.”
credit Photo courtesy by arena