Splash - May/June 2013 - (Page 48)

g. newman lowrance/getty Images ronald martInez/getty Images GETTING TO KNOw Shannon by bob schaller vREElAND Did you excel at swimming when you first started? not at all. it took some time, for sure. even coming into college, I wasn’t slow or anything, but i still was not one of the faster swimmers. my breakthrough year did not come until I was 16 years old, and up until then i had really only been a really solid sectional swimmer. what changed? ironically, i have always worked hard at swimming; it just was not something I was excellent at. i was good, but nothing like Missy Franklin or anything like that when i was a teenager. when i didn’t make Olympic Trials as a 16-year-old, that summer some sort of switch flipped and I made something like five cuts at juniors. was it finding what you did well? yes and no. I mean, I swam everything, but nothing really well. i swam nine events at one Junior nationals, for example, and did not final in any of them. But going back to 2008, I did end up dropping a lot of time. i got five national cuts and made my first national Junior Team. But I certainly was not on anyone’s radar in the swim community until after my freshman year at georgia, and even from then on, it has been a gradual process for me. 48 SPLASH • MAy/June 2013 2012 OlYMPIAN AND NCAA CHAMPION what other sports did you play? Basketball – but I wasn’t aggressive enough. i don’t like pushing people around. i played soccer which i loved. i tried tennis, and did dance and cheerleading for a short period of time. i played softball for a while. out of all of those, i probably did the best at basketball or soccer. my father told me i could have been good at soccer if i liked it more. I just really liked swimming, and since i had started that in second grade, i didn’t really have to think about which sport to continue with when it came time to focus on something. How do you stay so motivated in school? i really like learning, and am thankful to be in college. i go to lectures, and i am really into debate. i’ll go listen to speakers who come here on international affairs, because it is so interesting to hear other opinions, especially from people i am not around much. So you will go into international affairs? i am not really sure what i will do with my major. For me, it’s about learning all I can, and there are literally 100 more classes I want to take here. in fact, i don’t look at who the easiest professors are or who gives the least amount of work, i find classes that are interesting and take those. How have you managed to do all that with swimming? sometimes i feel like swimming and everything else gets hard. i haven’t gotten all a’s, but i’ve done my best ,and i do have good grades overall. will you continue your education after you graduate? yes, I am going to go to graduate school, but i am not sure in what. i have thought about law school, or the certificate in legal studies program they have here, and I have thought about doing an MBA. i probably won’t go right into graduate school when i finish my degree. it’ll probably be a few years after that. what are your other interests? Having activities outside of swimming has always been really important to me, from student government and debate, to the club here that plans all of our spirit activities. I just love getting to know people from outside my comfort zone, because i learn a lot about them, about the world and about myself. Any unique skills or hobbies? i’m pretty good at hula hooping. i hula hooped on a trampoline the other day, though i would not call that a skill. i was pretty good in debate.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2013

Splash - May/June 2013
Table of Contents
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Strength and Conditioning: You don’t know Squat!
Nutrition: What to Eat Before, During and After a Workout
Mental Training: Quick Tips for Addressing Your Mental Concerns
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Your Photo
Lessons from the Masters
Nathan Adrian
Tyler Clary
Missy Franklin
Matt Grevers
Katie Ledecky
Ryan Lochte
Allison Schmitt
Rebecca Soni
Dana Vollmer
Best Race Ever
Swim Nut Zeke
Five Songs
Getting To Know
America’s Swim Team Athletes

Splash - May/June 2013