From the races to the vibe on the pool deck to the athlete experiences outside the arenas, the three-stop FINA Swimming World Cup 2022 proved once again to be an incredible success for the sport's premiere short course racing tour.
From Berlin to Toronto to Indianapolis, the first night of the weekend when the FINA Swimming World Cup 2022 came to town came to be known as Sell-Out Saturdays.
With fans packing the stands, hard-fought but friendly rivalries made for an electric atmosphere. It's one that several swimmers tapped into with their near-World Record performances.
And then came Katie Ledecky. The multi-time long course world record holder and owner of 17 FINA World Championships and 7 Olympic gold medals, had one empty corner in her trophy case - a World Record in the 25m pool.
Following up a captivating second-place thriller with Summer McIntosh in the Toronto 400m freestyle where the Canadian out-touched Ledecky 3:52.80 to 3:52.88 in setting the event's World Junior Record, Ledecky came back one day later to shatter the 1500m World Record with her 15:08.24 swim.
Then, one week later the American did it again on home soil, lowering the 800m freestyle world record to 7:52.42.
With the stage and athlete roster set, FINA had plenty of content to capitalise on. Following the federation's new digital strategy, the posts, tweets, articles and videos resonated with audiences as evidenced by the analytics: 110 million video views on Facebook, 220,000 hours watched on YouTube, and 7.4 million accounts reached on Instagram.
Hearing from the athletes, this year's Swimming World Cup is etched into their memory bank.
"Racing with joy is the most electric feeling and it's easy to do when surrounded by such kind friends and fierce competitors," wrote USA's Beata Nelson, the tour queen winning the Swimming World Cup 2022's overall women's crown.
"These three weeks have left a mark on my life. It's always a pleasure to race the best athletes in the world," wrote Italy's Thomas Ceccon. "I want to thank FINA for inviting me and organizing these events. It was a great experience and I hope to be back soon.
"Now it's time to head home and put some work in before WSC. Stay tuned."