Commitment, drive, and coaching are some of the reasons why a young Canadian swimmer has continued success in the pool.
Emily Overholt, from Vancouver, BC., is already having an impressive career where the 17-year-old has racked up numerous medals including a sliver medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Much of her success she has contributed to her parents and her coaches as well, including one in particular Janusz Kaczmarek who helped her while she swam for the West Vancouver Otters.
“He coached me when I was about 12 until just the end of last year, so he’s definitely the reason I got to where I am and I’m really grateful for everything he has done for me,” said Overholt.
“He taught me so much about not only swimming, but discipline and hard work and all of the characteristics that you need to be at the international level.”
Since 2001 Kaczmarek has been the head coach for the West Vancouver Otters. Kaczmarek has help Overholt win numerous events including three gold and three sliver medals at the Canada Games in 2013.
Last season Overholt had three personal best times at the FINA 12th World Short Course Championships, including the 100 metre medley where she swam a time 1:02.46.
At the age of 15, Overholt broke a Canadian International record in the 200 metre butterfly. But apart from these records and medals, Kaczmarek’s proudest moment for her was at the 2013 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai, UAE.,
“When we went to Dubai she was still inexperienced, and at the Canada Games a lot people thought it was a huge achievement, but for her it was just another stepping stone to get ready for the World Juniors,” said Kaczmarek. “I think in my opinion that was definitely the proudest moment for me was when she won a (bronze) medal at the World Juniors.”
When it comes to any sport, the way you prepare is always key to the way you perform, and to Kaczmarek this was something that was evident in Overholt’s swimming.
“The way she prepared herself for the competition stood out more then anybody else, it was pretty amazing cause I have very specific racing strategies for everybody,” Kaczmarek said.
“The way she was executing was incredible, she was the only one that I coached that was so persistent, actually executing those racing strategies and the target times.”
Looking ahead, Overholt hopes her success will continue into this week’s Canadian Swimming Trials where she can punch her ticket on to the Pan Am team and compete this summer in Toronto.
But looking further down the road that’s not the only team she has in mind.
“I would be so honoured to represent Canada at the Olympics. It’s the pinnacle of the sport, it’s so cool to have all the sports from so many different countries together,” said Overholt. “It would mean all of the hard work that I put into it and the training really payed off to be able to reach my final goal.”
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