Leaving his teenage years behind, US sprint phenomenon Michael Andrew is setting some ambitious goals for the next chapters of his swimming career. As a junior athlete Andrew collected records and medals like eggs at Easter. But now the 20-year-old swimmer has to step up his game to set his mark on the “big” stage. In Gwangju, South Korea, Andrew will face some tough races at his first World Championships in the Olympic long course pool.
It’s a swimmers most important tool, an achievement and approval at the same time: The swimmer´s body. But just as for the development of a swimmer’s performance there is no perfect blue print for what their body should look like.
Swimming is an individual sport: It's just you standing on the block. No one can swim the race for you. But outside the pool, swimmers are everything but alone. They have their teammates all around them and their families cheering them on from the sidelines. Even for the best swimmers in the world, it’s hard to be successful without support. Three-time Olympic Champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, for example, shows how a loving and supporting family can lead to greatness.
The Brazilian Coach Arilson Silva is one of the globetrotters of the international swimming circus. He worked with top-athletes in many countries. Among them are well-known names such as the Olympic champion Cesar Cielo and World Championships medalist Bruno Fratus. Arilson is always on tour, sharing his knowledge with other coaches and gathering inspiration for his work on the pool deck. It immediately becomes clear in our conversation: The coach is eager to share his knowledge, also with us and you.
“Swimmers have a need for speed”, Bronte Campbell tells us, while we are talking to the Olympic and World Champion about what motivates a swimmer. “You always want to be faster, it’s never enough. You want to push the boundaries to the next level”, she says. This inner “need for speed” keeps her striving for more. The medals and titles that sometimes come with it are secondary for the 23-year-old Australian. “Definitely getting faster is more important to me.”