In December of 2017, Andrew came in second place, with the silver medal, in the men’s 50 yard freestyle at the 2017 Winter National Championships, right behind Nathan Adrian. “That was fun. It wasn’t a very big competition, but it was a nice place to be. To do 19.17 seconds was huge, and a personal best,” he said. “It is always nice to be progressing.”
This past March, Andrew was able to best Nathan Adrian in the men’s 50 free in Atlanta. “That was huge. My major goal going into the meeting was to win. I believed I could, and I knew I would. It was a really special moment,” he admitted. “To have a win over Nathan Adrian at anytime, is huge, especially going into trials this July.”
Speaking of Adrian, Andrew was privileged to interview him for his own YouTube channel last month. “Nathan is a really awesome guy,” he said. “He definitely got his technique down to a science.”
On his daily motivations, Andrew said, “My motivation is always my goals, and knowing what I need to do in order to achieve them. I try not to define myself by my performance, since by doing that, I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform. I try to find ways to encourage others and help others through my performance. God has given me an incredible gift to swim fast, and for me, I am able to race free knowing that no matter what I do in the water, I am loved. I want to share that with other people. That’s what motivates me day in and day out.”
Regarding his plans for the future, Andrew said, “I graduated high school about a year ago. I am done studying for the time being. Post-Tokyo 2020 I will look back into studying, since I want to have a formal education, possibly an English degree since I want to write a book. I do a lot of things on YouTube, where I do things for memory.”
On the key to longevity in swimming, he said, “Knowing that you are defined by your sport, and your parents and friends love you regardless. It’s really scary that in this world, it is getting worse and worse that we have to perform constantly, in order to receive something. As much as that is fair, when an athlete puts on so much pressure, they ultimately miss the mark, because they are so afraid to fail. Also, injury prevention is huge, and that has to do with how you train. We train very specifically, where there is scientific data for everything. That’s how we protect our body.”
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology on swimming, Andrew said, “Technology has been huge. Being on the national team is awesome, since whenever I race, they often send you race footage for analysis. With the technology, we are able to see strokes and velocities and things that we don’t normally think about. There are other tools that we can see body angles and how we can adjust to be faster. Also, with television and publicity., swimming is starting to be aired more, where it’s not every four years that people get excited about it. With the changes in technology, it makes swimming a little more exciting to watch. It’s not just one stationary camera in one angle, now we have underwater footage. It makes the whole viewer experience a bit better.”
Andrew shared that he has used GoPro in the past, and now he uses SwimPro. “We use SwimPro in practice, where I have a TV on the side of my lane, which has delayed feedback played over, so that when I touch the wall, I can see how my stroke is doing and how everything looks from there,” he said.
For his fans, Andrew said, “I am incredibly grateful. God has given me a great ability to reach people. Swimming is a nice platform for me to share something more than just performance.”
The acclaimed teenage swimmer defined the word success as follows: “Success is not about the medal, trophy or the record. It’s more about the satisfaction that comes from the hard work you put in to achieve something.” “I do a lot of training and I focus on what I eat. When I reach the goal that I’ve set, that satisfaction and joy is success,” he explained.