By Randy J. Whetstone–
Participating in the Olympics engenders a historic legacy. Athletes display their talents on the biggest stage of the competitive sports realm to represent their country in international play. These participants are commended by spectators, friends and family. Time, commitment and dedication are all interrelated parts that must work in consort for athletes to perform at the best of their ability. The radiating effect of Olympic play has made its way to the University of Louisville.
The university’s swimming and diving program was magnified in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. The impact of their participation surely looks to enhance the program as well as the athletic department.
Senior Eszter Povazsay represented her Hungarian national team and competed in the 100 backstroke event. She reflected upon her experience and stated what she hoped to see in the future for Louisville’s swimming and diving program.
“I’m hoping by competing in London Olympics I will bring a legacy to this team,” Povazsay said, “and I hope that it will help the team grow in the future. I’ve already seen the impact on the team from our Olympic experiences, as far as recruiting and being acknowledged. It brought more attention to U of L swimming and diving”.
The athletic department’s recruiting success has enhanced each season. This platform grew stronger from Olympic participation. The university receives recognition and hopes to use that as a tool for current and future athletes.
Experience in Olympic play nurtures any athlete. All participants operate with an elite work ethic to enable themselves the best opportunity to do well. Swimmers can filter their experience from Olympic play to collegiate competition as they continue their career. Junior Joao De Lucca represented Brazil in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. He compared his experiences between competing as a college athlete and an Olympian.
“It’s pretty similar because the focus on the Olympics is all the best athletes in the world compete together,” said De Lucca. “In America, for all the best athletes, it’s hard to make the NCAA’s. The level of competition is so high as it is in the Olympics.”
U of L alumni Pedro Oliveira expressed his appreciation for the University of Louisville.
“Representing U of L was special,” Oliveira said. “My first time around the Olympics, I only represented my country. All the love I got from the fans was definitely great, people recognized me in the street and wherever I go. It’s great to have that appreciation from the fans and give back to the school that gave so much.”
These swimmers in Olympic competition contributed to the vision of the University of Louisville’s program. The spotlight will spark interest within future athletes as new recruits are illuminated by the Olympic rings.
Photo: courtesy of twicsy.com