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article imageBen Proud talks Energy Standard, postponement of Tokyo Olympics Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 17, 2020 in Sports
World champion British swimmer Ben Proud chatted with Digital Journal about being a part of the Energy Standard swimming team, and he shared his outlook on the sport following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Frank Ocean once said: "Work hard in silence, let success be your noise." A person that embodies this quotation is distinguished British swimmer Ben Proud. During this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, he revealed that he is training at home. "It's fine, but it's not the same," he said.
Energy Standard were the winners of the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL) competition. "That was surreal since you could see the emotions in the team. Obviously, we had a little bit of pressure being Energy Standard. When we got to the final in Las Vegas, it was a roller coaster. The last two days in Las Vegas were filled with high emotions," he said.
Energy Standard swimming team in the ISL
Energy Standard swimming team in the ISL
International Swimming League
Proud had nothing but the kindest remarks about working with Head Coach James Gibson of Energy Standard. "It has been amazing," he said. "I've been with James since February of 2017 before I won the World Championships. The past three years with him have been amazing. To me, James is the best coach in the world. With James as my coach, I can see myself swimming for the next eight years or so."
He admires the mission of the International Swimming League (ISL) and everything they stand for, which raises awareness and promotes the sport of swimming.
Proud also spoke about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "There were definitely mixed emotions," he admitted. "When we went home and the lockdown started, it was more of a relief. We could let those working on the frontlines take the limelight and deal with what they need to do. We will come back and work hard next year and make sure the Olympics go on and make sure that they are as good as they would have been," he said.
He triumphed at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships, where he won the gold medal in the men's 50 meter freestyle and the silver medal in the men's 50 meter butterfly races. "That was a good year for me. I really enjoyed those and I am looking forward to getting to that level again quite soon," he said.
Proud tends to prefer long-course swimming competitions to short-course ones, though he has excelled in both over the years. "I definitely prefer my long-course," he said. "2015 was my best short-course season and I really enjoyed that. Once I switched to long-course, that has been my focus."
He feels that the impact of technology has definitely changed the sport of swimming. "You see a lot more people filming these days, and you see the smallest breakdowns of your strokes. I love it because I am quite a perfectionist and I like to see the details that are in front of me," he said.
On his personal favorite stroke, he responded, "When I grew up in Malaysia and I first started swimming, I loved the 50 meter butterfly, I loved it and it was my favorite event. As I got older, freestyle turned into my major focus, and over the past six years, I've had a bigger passion for freestyle."
For young and aspiring swimmers, Proud said, "set a challenging goal for yourself and visualize achieving that dream. I believed I could do it. When I was 15 or 16 years old, my goal was to win the World Championships. Simply just set a goal, believe in it, and start to chase it."
He also noted the importance of having fun in the sport. "When you get to the big events, it's about the lifestyle that you live. I am at a stage in my career, where I am making this more of a lifestyle. Enjoy the process, the traveling, and the racing," he said.
In the fall of 2018, he had the good fortune to be interviewed by American swimmer Michael Andrew for his vlog, which may be seen below. "We literally did that interview in Budapest right before we hopped on the bus," he said.
He spoke highly visiting Greece last summer (the neighboring country of Turkey, where he trains with the Energy Standard swimming team). "I fell in love with Greece last year. I visited Santorini last year, which is a great hotspot: the weather, the people, the good, it's all so nice there," he said.
Proud defined the word success as the "overriding result of all the effort you put in." "Success is the accumulation of all the hard work you put in, and getting to achieve what you set out to achieve. Success is being happy with what you've done," he explained.
For his loyal fans, Proud expressed his appreciation towards them. "I appreciate every single one of the fans. The fans have been a major help. It makes you want to achieve the things that you are after even more. One of the nicest things to have is that support behind you," Proud said, effusively.
To learn more about acclaimed swimmer Ben Proud, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.
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