When Nina Mollin made it to the core team at just 13 years old, she discovered her passion and potential for competitive swimming and has been making waves ever since.
The University of Toronto Varsity Blues swimmer, is a budding star from Chicago who recently got named the Ontario University Athletic (OUA) female rookie of the year.
The 19-year-old holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada and has been into swimming her entire life and thanks her sister Hana, a swimmer, for getting her into the sport.
“She always brought me to practice and forced me to go even though I didn’t want to,” Mollin said. “I always looked up to her.”
The Ontario University Athletic (OUA) female rookie of the year started devoting her time to competitive swimming at nine and has never looked back since then.
She represented the Schaumburg High School and the Academy Bullets Swim Club before joining the Blues team in the fall of 2022. In the US, she was a multiple-event finalist at the 2021 NCSA Junior National Championships in March, and her best result was a fourth-place finish in the 1000-meter freestyle with a timing of 9:58.69.
Mollin has represented Canada internationally at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, where she finished 11th in 200m butterfly, 12th in 200m breaststroke, and 12th in 400m IM. In 2021, she was one of the youngest competitors at the Canadian Olympic Trials, finishing 10th.
Her life in Chicago was missing a good balance of quality education and a motivating swim team. This balance and her love for Toronto influenced her decision to join the Blues team in the fall of 2022.
She talked about how the Toronto swim team helped her realize her love for the sport and secretly competing with them; she is trying to better her game.
“During practice, I like to race many people,” she said. “It’s really fun to push myself in practice, even though it’s tough.”
Any athlete needs to find out in which events they are better than the others as it helps them improve. Mollin believes she can race better in 200 IM, and team coach Bryon MacDonald agreed to that
“Her best events are the 200 and 400 IM,” he said. “I think her near future will be in these two.”
As a student-athlete, Mollin is studying life sciences at the University of Toronto and takes two practices twice a week with three weightlifting sessions. She understands the importance of balancing her studies and training and has never faced any issues.
“I usually go to every single morning swim practice,” she said. “I feel like swimming in the morning will help me clear my day so that I can focus on school afterward.”
Mollin is preparing for the upcoming National Championship trials. Just like other athletes who are participating, she aims to qualify but focuses on bettering her game rather than stressing out.