Olympian Janet Evans was at a swim club in Tustin Thursday to coach swimmers as part of the global "World's Largest Swimming Lesson."
Thousands of novice swimmers across the country jumped into pools at the very same moment Thursday, attempting to break the record to the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson."
In Orange County, at precisely 8 a.m., swimmers were coached into the water by a serious athlete who knows something about the sport: five-time Olympic medalist Janet Evans.
"This is a life-saving skill. This is valuable and important," said Evans, who will compete at age 40 in the 2012 London Olympics. "Every child needs to know how to swim."
The Orange County native was at Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, where more than 100 children splashed, doggy-paddled and swam arm-over-arm Thursday.
Organizers of the global event hoped that 30,000 people of all ages would leap into the water to participate on five continents. It was intended to raise awareness of the need to teach children to swim to prevent drowning.
In New York, three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines hosted swimmers as part of the event.
The previous record was made at the same event last year, when 19,322 people took part.
The Guinness Book of World Records will need a few days to determine if the record was actually broken Thursday.