Earlier this month, Erica Sullivan took receipt of a special delivery from Speedo USA.
“I think I know what it is!” the swimmer excitedly told her Instagram followers. To be fair, the orange, pink and white stripes on the box were a big clue… although the Dunkin’ Donuts style design might have thrown you a curveball.
On Wednesday night at the Pan American Games, Sullivan got to try out the personalized gift — a pair of Signature Series goggles — in competition.
As described by the 23-year-old Tokyo Olympic silver medalist during the unboxing: “My goggles were inspired by the lesbian flag, pink and orange, and orange also ties into my history I have here at Texas.”
Burnt orange and white are the colors of the University of Texas, where Sullivan is a junior and part of the Swim & Dive team.
The 23-year-old is the sixth swimmer to be part of the custom-made collection, after fellow USA Olympic medalists Caeleb Dressel, Kathleen Baker, Ryan Murphy and Hali Flickinger, and three-time Paralympic gold-medal winner Becca Meyers.
Sullivan partnered with Team Speedo in 2022, helping to promote their Pride collection and selecting Human Rights Campaign as the beneficiary LGBTQ charity.
A couple of days after the unboxing of her goggles, she also featured in Speedo USA’s Instagram post to mark National Coming Out Day.
Sullivan placed sixth in the 1500-meter freestyle final in the Chilean capital. Away from the pool, she recently started up a new podcast called ‘Off The Deep End’ with another USA teammate competing in Santiago, Kelly Pash. Episodes cover “swimming, athletics, and importantly, the chaos of being a college student”.
Previously, Sullivan spoke to Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler for his ‘Five Rings to Rule Them All’ podcast back in June 2020, in which she discussed coming out as a 17-year-old. She was included in Outsports’ Power 100 this year.
The traditional Pride flag has already been displayed by an athlete during these Pan American Games. 3x3 basketball player Daniel Arcos raised it during the opening ceremony when he walked with Team Chile in the Parade of Athletes.
Arcos and Sullivan are among several out LGBTQ athletes competing in Santiago. You can see the list compiled by Outsports so far here.