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The Will to Succeed: From Olympian to Entrepreneur

Nina Sadauskas has a strong will to succeed.
Nina Sadauskas
Year started: 1999
Favorite gear:

Delfina Xback swimsuit 

Growing up in Bulgaria, Nina jumped into the pool at age 9 and instantly felt at home in the water. Swimming quickly became her biggest passion. By her teens, Nina was one of Bulgaria’s top swimmers. At the age of 19, Nina transferred to a division 1 school in Texas. Although the commands of swimming came easily, understanding cultural nuances was initially a challenge for the athlete. Nina’s story is an example of how the will to succeed can translate over to any aspect of life.

Swimming in the Olympics

Despite the struggles with thinking and studying in a new language, Nina persevered with her athlete mindset. Nina competed in three Olympics between 2008 and 2016 in the 100 and 200m freestyle. Standing behind the starting blocks in the massive Olympic pool was a dream come true. Swimming in the Olympics was a magical experience she’ll never forget.

Bulgarian Records

Over the course of her swimming career, Nina broke 75 Bulgarian records. Several of these came during the Beijing and London Olympics. But by her mid-20s after swimming competitively for over 17 years, Nina started to lose her motivation. Swimming had consumed her entire life until that point – it was all she knew. The intense training and endless competitions had taken a toll mentally and physically. After her third Olympics in 2016, Nina decided to retire from competitive swimming.

The Next Chapter

The path after proved to be challenging for Nina. For so long, Nina had identified herself as “a swimmer.” Without that, she felt lost and unsure of her future path. She took her competitive drive and worked hard to figure out the next chapter. Since she was 19, Nina always knew her swimming career would one day come to an end. She worked hard to build connections and saw her university education as a stepping stone.


An Opportunity

Nina found a job at a triathlon gear company, allowing her to stay connected to the athletic world she knew so well. She loved working with athletes and traveled all over for major races and events. However, Nina noticed there was a lack of high quality, customized swimwear designed for triathletes. Using her vast swimming knowledge, she saw an opportunity.

Delfina Athletics

In 2020, Nina started her own company called Delfina Athletics. She partnered with a Bulgarian swimwear company from her swimming days. Delfina began supplying custom-fitted swimsuits, warmups, and gear for teams and individual triathletes using premium fabrics. Nina understood the importance of technical racing suits from her years as an elite swimmer.

Giving Back to the Sports Community

Nina was passionate about giving back to the sports community that gave her so much as an athlete. Through Delfina, she could share her love of swimming while also encouraging the next generation to experience the life-changing benefits of athletics. She works directly with clubs, coaches, and event organizers across the United States to outfit swimmers, runners and cyclists with high quality apparel to help them perform their best.

A Female Business Owner

Nina understands the importance of being a female business owner in the triathlon space and supports other female-powered brands through collaboration and encouragement. Recently, Nina has partnered with the female-owned Betty Designs to become their official custom triathlon and cycling gear partner. Due to Nina’s ingenuity, Delfina has grown into a one stop shop for all custom team gear needs. Nina’s ability to use the will to succeed to bring change to the endurance sports apparel world serves as an example for other athletes and women in the space.