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article imageChatting with Nicholas Santos: Brazil's 'Iron' man of butterfly Special

By Markos Papadatos     Nov 27, 2020 in Sports
World-class Brazilian swimmer Nicholas Santos chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about being a part of ISL Season 2, where he competed for Team Iron. This year's competition was held at the Duna Arena in Hungary.
Retired U.S. Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell once said: "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." An individual who is the epitome of this quotation is Olympic swimmer Nicholas Santos.
At 40 years old, he was the oldest swimmer in this year's ISL sophomore season, but he proved over and over again that age is just a number. He was able to earn 153.5 points for Team Iron. "It was awesome to race for Team Iron," he said.
"For me, this competition was really good. In the first match, I didn't swim so fast, because I was feeling weird. The second match was pretty good and I did my best times," he said.
Brazilian swimmer Nicholas Santos
Brazilian swimmer Nicholas Santos
Mine Kasapoglu, Photo Courtesy of ISL
He shared that during the COVID-19 quarantine he was training in his apartment in Brazil, where he has a 25 meter pool.
Santos complimented Iron General Manager Dorina Szekeres, as well as the team's co-captains Katinka Hosszu and Robert Glinta. "Dorina is really good and really professional during the meetings," he said. "It was great working with Robert Glinta, he is a really nice guy, and Katinka was great to work with too."
In mid-November, Santos secured a massive win in the men's 50 meter butterfly race this ISL season with a time of 21.80 seconds, and in doing so, he managed to overtake the world's fastest swimmer, Caeleb Dressel, on his way to the top. He secured 19 points for Team Iron. "Winning the jackpot points for the team felt really awesome," he said with a smile.
To this day, Santos holds the world record in the men's 50 meter butterfly with a time of 21.75 seconds that he set at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, back in 2018.
Santos is a four-time world champion at the world championship short course level; moreover, he won three medals at the FINA World Championships (long course), which include two silver medals in the men's 50 meter butterfly final (at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest), and a bronze medal in the men's 50 meter butterfly last summer in Gwangju, South Korea. "I specialize in the 50 meter butterfly," he admitted. "In Kazan, I think I was the oldest swimmer to get a gold medal in a world championship, and I repeated that in Budapest," he said.
"Right now, I am enjoying the journey," he said. "I am 40 years old and it's a big honor that I am still competing at a high level with the fastest swimmers in the world. I am still doing the 'homework,' training hard and I do high-intensity programs. I have to take care of my body and its recovery and what I eat and what I drink. There is no magic formula to it. I just do one thing for a long time, and I just repeat and repeat it again just like a businessman or any professional would."
He is also a two-time gold medalist at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro (2007) and Guadalajara (2011).
Brazilian Olympian Nicholas Santos
Brazilian Olympian Nicholas Santos
Mike Lewis, Photo Courtesy of ISL
Although his favorite stroke is the butterfly, he shared that he is devoting more training in the freestyle since the 50 meter butterfly race is not an Olympic event as of yet.
Santos had kind words about fellow Brazilian swimmers Felipe Lima and Guilherme Guido. "Both of them are really nice guys," he said. "We used to practice together, but I am training for Universidade Santa Cecília."
For young and aspiring swimmers, he encouraged them to "keep simple." "Trust your coach, and you need to walk the talk," he said.
Olympic swimmer Nicholas Santos
Olympic swimmer Nicholas Santos
Mike Lewis, Photo Courtesy of ISL
Aside from being a professional swimmer, he is a physical therapist and he holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in entrepreneurship. He is extremely passionate about Elite Training Brazil. For more information, check out its Facebook page. "We are like a business-to-business (b2b) where we do strength and conditioning, and certifications for trainers and physical therapists to deliver education and knowledge for the clients. I can learn a lot with this company," he said.
In his personal life, he revealed that he is a father to a four-year-old boy.
He shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon and noted that we may still see him at swimming competitions racing professionally for the next two years perhaps. "I will swim some more next year," he hinted.
For Santos, he acknowledged that success is temporary and not forever. "Success is more of a plateau, where swimmers should stay in the same lane and be patient," he said. "It is definitely important to have fun with the sport."
"Thank you to the fans for following me, sending me messages all the time, and believing in me and what I am doing in the pool. I receive a lot of nice messages and it means a lot when they tell me that I am not only a good swimmer but a good person as well," he concluded.
To learn more about Brazilian swimmer Nicholas Santos, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.
Olympian Nicholas Santos
Olympian Nicholas Santos
Mine Kasapoglu, Photo Courtesy of ISL
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