Clare Blackwell - IronClare
Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 8:13AM
Sergio Lopez Miro in Bolles, Bolles Swimming, Clare Blackwell, Millfield

Clare Blackwell is currently an Assistant Coach at Millfield School (England), but before she moved to England with her husband Wes we were very lucky to have Clare with us for few years at The Bolles School.

This past 24th of June, Clare was in Nice (France) competing at an Ironman in order to raise money for The Children's Cancer Fund of Dallas and had an accident. During the cycling part of the race Clare was hit by an ambulance that was going to attend an injured competitor. The accident caused major damage to Clare with a collapsed lung, broken hip and head trauma. At first she was induced into a coma to try to prevent or minimize brain damage, she was back in the USA by July 5th and by the 6th she said her first word and smiled at her sister. She is recovering! 

I don't now where to start about Clare and her husband Wes. Two great individuals that make an amazing couple that have touched many lives. One of them is mine ;-) 

Clare and I worked together at Bolles. She was a Senior Assistant Coach and the Assistant Aquatics Director, so she worked very closely with me. Honestly she was a key part of my first two years of coaching at Bolles to really set a good foundation and help me do my job well.

Clare is a very passionate, intelligent and smart woman that loves swimming and life in general, and most important she wants to help people find their talents and reach their full potentials as student-athletes and as human beings.

Personally I will always be thankful to Clare for helping me everyday to be the best I could be. She was always calm and brought everyday a beautiful smile to work, she was never afraid to tell me what she thought and many times to give me great advise and direction. Clare could take a good joke, but most important she had the ability to make each one of the coaches feel comfortable and good about what we were doing. With the swimmers she was wonderful, she always knew how to treat each one of them to make them feel special and always took the time to talk with them before or after practice. 

Most impressive to me is that she was always in good spirits and ready to help somebody even when having her husband Wes at different overseas missions or training with the Navy. In two years we only saw her once "explode" at a situation in the office and few minutes later we were just laughing about it. Amazing spirit and very strong woman. 

As a young coach she was always ready to ask questions and learn. She was like a sponge absorbing as much as she could to make sure that she would be the best that she could be for her swimmers.

When I first got to Bolles I was a little confused about why I was there. I left college coaching mainly because of my mother and my family, and I had a long term goal internally as a college coach that now it was gone. For the first six months of being at Bolles, I was trying to figure out what would be my next internal goal and believe me I was lost more than once. Coming to work every day and having a coach like Clare next to me helping me with the kids and having great conversations about swimming and life was a key factor that helped me understand why I was there. THANK YOU Clare! 

I am writing all this to ask you for your help in different way. First and most important is that if you have a couple of minutes every day think about Clare and send her your positive energy. I know that we all have many things to do in our busy lives, but if you are a swimmer, parents, or coach just think that Clare has maybe helped your kid already or in the future she could be working and helping your kid or you as a coach. It only takes a couple of minutes of closing your eyes, taking a deep breath to calm down and send your positive energy, thoughts or prayers to Clare for a full recovery. The other way you can help is by donating to help Wes and her family endure the expenses that this accident has brought them and will bring them. Here are some links:

Follow her progrees and donate at:

Operation IronClare: 

Now Clare if you can read this I want you to know that I have been thinking of you and I will keep thinking of you every day. Everyday I am sending you my positive energy and I want you to know that you can beat this and the only think to do is BELIEVE. You have done an amazing job touching peoples lives in a positive way and I know for sure that your journey is not over. It has just started.


In a selfish way we need you, so you can continue sharing your wonderful spirit with your family and many swimmers, parents coaches. 

You know what I miss the most is "DANCING". I thought that now that we were coming to London, you Wes, Christian Bahr, Sandy and I could go out dancing and remember old times. We are great dancers ;-) Believe it or not.

Wes and Clare's family be strong your extended family is right here for you. Cheers!

Clare Thank You for everything and looking forward to seeing you and talking with you soon!


Article originally appeared on Sergio Lopez Miro Olympic Swimmer & Olympic Coach (
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