On being a part of the 2016 Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro, Justus said, “Rio was my dream for as long as I can remember, getting to realize that dream is something that still hasn’t sunk in nearly three years later. I also got to experience it with my dad by my side as he has been throughout my swimming career so that all made it even more special.”
Regarding his future goals, he said, “2019 is going to be a big year. Starting with my move to a new country, training with a new team and getting ready for the Olympic trials next year. This year, I want to focus on enjoying the smaller things and having gratitude for the bigger.”
When asked what motivates him each day, the 23-year-old swimmer said, “I am constantly thinking about what’s next, what I want to work on, what I want to create and how I can improve myself. There is no lack of motivation. I am constantly motivated from within.”
A native of South Africa, Justus is drawn to swimming for two reasons. “First, I love water. Being around it and in it, I love the feeling and I love moving through it. I enjoy racing, traveling to competitions and racing people from all over the world,” he explained.
For young and aspiring swimmers, he said, “I think when you are young the most important part is to have fun and enjoy it. When you get older and life around you gets distracting and confusing, your love and enjoyment for the sport will count more than anything. A happy swimmer is a fast swimmer.”
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology on the sport of swimming, Justus said, “I think as we innovate and move forward, so will the sport, although I like focusing on the basics, the rawness of that animal-like mentality whereby you just dive in and train/race like a cheetah chasing a gazelle. I think sometimes the technology just gets in the way of that in terms of the watches. At the end of the day, it’s very simple, who can get from one side of the pool to the other side the fastest.”
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a swimmer, he said, “I approach my training and racing with a more raw, animalistic mindset. I enjoy the improvements in training gear and setups such as pulling gear, resistance socks, stretch cords and the more innovative thinking towards new training ideas but as for the watches and other appliances, I stick to the basics.”
He shared that he enjoys using GoPro. “Capturing the sport and sharing my perspective on it was something that became very important and interesting for me. GoPros are perfect because I could just leave them on the floor of the pool or on the wall, sometimes even in my mouth,” he said.
Justus has been raising awareness on the sport of swimming with his innovative videos on his YouTube channel. “Creating is my passion, I love shooting videos and photographs and sharing my ‘version’ of things,” he said.
He continued, “I always felt that swimming didn’t get the recognition it deserved and not many people found it as interesting as I believe it is. Sharing my swimming side of life on my YouTube channel has become a way for me to try and shed light on the things I found interesting and ‘cool’ about the sport, thus trying to give it a new feel, a new perspective and get the everyday person that traditionally didn’t watch swimming to pay attention. That’s what I will continue to strive to do.
For his fans and supporters, he said, “I owe them everything. I am living this lifestyle due to the support I receive on my videos and photographs. I truly am beyond grateful that people take the time and energy to watch and engage with my content and when I spend days creating it or traveling halfway around the world to shoot a video.”
He noted that it means “the absolute world” to him for someone to watch it and genuinely enjoy it or even be inspired by it. “For someone to walk away after watching my videos and feel good and motivated is probably the best feeling in the world to me. So thank you and stay tuned. I plan on constantly improving and creating better and better content,” he said.
Justus defined the word success as follows: “Success means different things to me as I journey through life. Currently, I understand success as being able to do what you love and feel rewarded from it, in whatever way that may be, be it a monetary value, passion, satisfaction, contentment, everyone wants different things from what they do and the reason they’ve chosen to do it.”
“For me, I will consider myself ‘successful’ when I’m completely content with what I’m creating, meaning I view my work and I’m satisfied – I don’t see room for improvement or change. I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point though because I’m never content and constantly striving for improvement and to be the best, but I like the idea that success is elusive, makes me feel like I won’t get complacent and stuck. Always moving, like water.”