Svetlana Vanyo

formerly Svetlana Pozdeyeva (Светлана Поздеева)

Career Experience

  • Business entrepreneur
  • Private swimming instructor for more than 20 years
  • Coach of various swimming teams/clubs for more than 20 years
  • Manager of pools and athletic facilities for more than 20 years
  • Competitive swimming at the international level for 9 years
Svetlana Vanyo

Swimming Accomplishments

  • 1996 Olympic Finalist
  • Russian National Record Holder
  • Recipient, Russian Federation's Certificate to the State and Medal for Merits before the Fatherland "Second Degree" (awarded personally by President Boris Yeltsin)
  • World Championship: Bronze Medal
  • Goodwill Games: 2 Silver Medals
  • First World Military Games: 2 Gold Medals, 2 Silver Medals
  • Open Championship of Brazil: 4 Gold Medals
  • European Championship, Sevilla (Spain): Silver Medal, IM Medley

Education and Training

  • Bachelors of Arts, Physical Education, Samarara Pedagogical University
  • Masters of Arts, Physical Education, Samara Pedagogical University
  • USA Swimming Coach certification
  • Water Safety Instructor certification
  • CPR and AED certifications

My Story

I was born in Samara, Russia in 1977. I started swimming when I was 7 years old, and I absolutely loved it. I started dreaming out swimming in the Olympics for my country when I was 8.

And at the age of 11, I was fortunate enough to be selected to join the Russian Junior National Swimming Team. Being selected on the team was an immense privilege, and it was also a lot of work. We had swimming practice twice, and sometimes three times, each day---in addition to weight training and other instruction by some of the best coaches in the former USSR.

young Svetlana
young Svetlana

Our team traveled all over the world for international competitions, including places like Bulgaria, England, and Germany. For my team, I swam the 100- and 200-meter butterfly, and also the medley relay, which was my favorite event of all. At the most competitive junior event in Leeds, England in 1992, I won 2 silver medals in my butterfly events and won a gold medal in the medley relay.


At the age of 15, I was selected to join the Russian National Swimming Team. During this time, I trained with the National Team and competed with the top swimmers in the world. And I also participated in junior swimming meets for which I was still eligible. On the National Team, I swam the same events: 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the medley relay. Our team traveled to many international competitions, including great places like Rio de Janeiro, Monte Carlo, Paris. At the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, I won 2 silver medals in the 100-meter butterfly and the medley relay. At the 1994 World Championships in Rome, our medley relay team again won a silver medal. One of my proudest moments came in 1995, when I received a presidential award personally from President Boris Yeltsin for my swimming accomplishments. The official title of the award was the "Russian Federation's Certificate to the State and Medal for Merits before the Fatherland 'Second Degree.'" In total, I won 15 gold medals and 5 silver medals at various swimming competitions, and I am a national record holder.


When I was 15, I also qualified for the Russian Olympic Swimming Team, but was unable to go with my team to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. When I was 19, I qualified again for the Russian Olympic Swimming Team. I swam in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the medley relay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an absolute thrill to participate in the Olympics and compete against the top swimmers in the world. Our medley relay team qualified for the finals, but we unfortunately failed to bring home a medal.


I retired from competitive swimming in 1997 to focus on my education. I graduated from the Pedagogical University of Samara in 2000 with a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Physical Education.

After graduation, I coached swimming and managed pool operations at the Secondary School in Samara for 2 years. I then became a manager and aerobics instructor at the Samara City Sports Complex, and worked there for 2 years.

I came to the United States in 2004 and began teaching group and private lessons in Las Vegas, NV for three years.

I then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2007, where now live with my husband Brian and our 3 daughters: Athena, Sofie, and Vivian. I teach private swimming lessons independently and at ACAC.

I'm excited about the chance to work with many more swimmers of all ages and experience levels. Please don't hesitate to contact me to learn more! I look forward to working with you!