Chizuko Litherland is the mother of Olympic swimmer Jay Litherland. She is of Japanese identity and her husband is from New Zealand. Chizuko and her husband Andrew have three children – Jay, Kevin, and Mick. Chizuko has been a great support for Jay since he was 8 years old and began swimming. She has accompanied him to various competitions and cheered him on.

Her Son, Jay Litherland

Jay Litherland was born on August 24, 1995, in Osaka Japan, to a New Zealand father and a Japanese mother. He and his brothers, Mick and Kevin, grew up speaking Japanese at home and eventually settled in Johns Creek, Georgia. Jay was a star swimmer in high school, named an All-American while attending Chattahoochee High School and swimming for Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta. He and his brothers then attended the University of Georgia and continued to compete as swimmers. Jay was granted U.S. citizenship in high school and had the option of competing for Japan, New Zealand, or the United States in the Olympics. Initially, he contacted the New Zealand swimming federation with an interest in competing for them in the 2016 Olympics but was turned down due to having already competed for the U.S. in an international event. The brothers then decided to participate in the New Zealand Olympic trials instead of the U.S. trials, but they ended up not making the team, so all three ended up competing in the U.S. trials together.

The Litherland brothers, Mick and Kevin swam collegiately alongside their brother, Jay, at the University of Georgia. All three began their swimming career at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek, Georgia and when they committed to the University of Georgia in 2013, UGA Coach Jack Bauerle said, “We are extremely excited about having these three young men join us.” The brothers trained together and competed with one another which allowed them to excel in their swimming careers. In 2017, the Litherland brothers finished their NCAA career with the Georgia Bulldogs and have since gone on to do incredible things. Jay Litherland said, “We got to this level because we trained together and competed with one another.”

Jay won the gold medal in the 400-meter IM at the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju and qualified for his first Olympic team in 2016 by placing second in the same event. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, he placed fifth in the 400-meter IM with a time of 4:11.68, then went on to place second in the 400-meter IM with a time of 4:09.31 at the 2017 USA Swimming Championships. Litherland went on to place fifth in the 400-meter IM at a time of 4:12.05 at the 2017 FINA World Championships, then second in the 400-meter IM with a time of 4:10.21 at the 2018 USA Swimming Championships. He gained his first individual World Championship medal with a second-place finish in the 400-meter IM at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, then won the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:10.28 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.