Sword & Shield

Victoria Abad swims to success

Donovan Holder, Sports Editor

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All across the surface of this very world, we can find many new, fascinating sports to explore. But when we venture below the surface and descend into the water we enter an entirely different world. Enter swimming, beloved and unique sport that can take place under the sea .
Recently Victoria Abad, a junior at South, has had the honor of representing our school at the state’s swimming competition.
“What I love most about the sport is the adrenaline rush,” Abad said.
Abad, who has been swimming for about fifteen years, fell in love with the sport growing up. She started swimming to take after her father who also swam competitively; naturally her father is her main role model.
“Not only is my father a role model to me, but also a great friend,” she said. “Without him, I may have never gone through with swimming in the first place.”
A major part of any sport is competition and Abad like most people, is always nervous before competing. But as soon as her body hits the water, her mind is cleared, and she only has one priority in mind: to do her best. And No matter what hardships Abad must face, she always finds a way to stay in the race and remain a competitor.
“It is always better to keep a level head when you are swimming,” she said. “You never want to have too much on your mind, because that can distract you from your true goal of winning.”
It took Abad a long time to adjust to such a hard sport, “it took me a couple of years just to get good at the sport, and if i want to master swimming I have to keep practicing”. And while many other swimmers dropped out of the race because they couldn’t take the heat, Abad kept a cool head and just kept swimming.
“I have contemplated dropping out of swimming several times, but when I look back at how far I’ve come, and all the work I put into to getting better, I just can’t bring myself to quit.”
Rather than facing challenges such as getting tired of repetition or lacking in skill, Abad stated that her biggest challenge in swimming was definitely looking at her future. Like many athletes, she is unsure if she should pursue college athletics.
“Many times I have struggled with knowing whether or not I can make a future for myself in swimming, and to me it is the biggest challenge in all sports,” she said.
Despite this dilemma, Abad is still competing and practicing to swim after high school. If not, she plans to enter the fire academy.
“When high school is over, my dream profession would be to swim and compete to my heart’s content. Even if things don’t work out, I can always fall back on the fire academy,” she said.
There are certain things that every athlete learns or develops in their time playing sports. Abad says swimming has not only made her physically stronger, but stronger in other aspects of her life. When asked about how swimming has made her a better person, she said, “In my years of swimming, I have learned so many amazing lessons. The most important one of all was to be tenacious and to never give up on my goals, no matter how impossible they seem.”

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Victoria Abad swims to success