Splash - May/June 2013 - (Page 48)
g. newman lowrance/getty Images
ronald martInez/getty Images
GETTING TO KNOw
by bob schaller
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.
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.
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
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
So you will go into international
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
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
Lessons from the Masters
Best Race Ever
Swim Nut Zeke
Getting To Know
America’s Swim Team Athletes
Splash - May/June 2013