Freshman Bianca Yongyuth discovered her affinity for water nine years ago, as a 5-year-old. She currently swims year-round with the Santa Clara Swim Club and for the Matadors in the spring, as a freshman on varsity. Yongyuth’s love for swimming has taken her to swim meets across the country, from California to Indiana to Texas and has opened her eyes to different opportunities. Yongyuth describes how her journey in the water first started, and where she hopes it will take her.
EE: How and when did you first get into swimming?
BY: I started swimming [competitively]about nine years ago, when I was five. It kind of all started because my brother really wanted to swim. So then my parents were like “Oh you should swim too.” But it turns out I actually started to like really like it and I got really into it.
EE: What is something surprising about swimming in races?
BY: I found it really surprising that … it didn’t matter how tall you were or how buff you were — a lot of the people it depended on their technique. There was one girl who was actually shorter than me but she was able to break all these records, and that was really cool to see that height doesn’t matter. It all depends on your technique or how mentally focused you are at the race.
EE: How do you personally sustain the high level of commitment?
BY: I think it depends on the team that you are on. If you have a really positive and motivating team it’s easier to become more motivated to actually swim your race well because if you have a really negative team it kind of brings you down.
EE: How long do you plan to swim competitively?
BY: I think I want to continue it throughout probably my life, but competitively I want to go to a college … I’m half Thai, so I can get a dual citizenship, and then possibly swim … on the Thai national team there. I can probably go to the Olympics in four years if I swim on their team.
EE: How does it feel to be a freshmen on the varsity swim team?
BY: It is really cool and kind of exciting because I get to meet more people and be a part of a team that can score points together … I think a lot of people on the MVHS team are very positive. You’re not swimming for yourself now, but you’re swimming for your team and you want to score for the team rather than yourself. I see a lot of the people, like everyone, they’re getting up and cheering for everyone doing the races — no matter if you’re on varsity or JV, everyone cheers for each other.
EE: Do you have any advice for other swimmers?
BY: I think the biggest thing is to stay positive and keep trying your best. Your mental state of mind is probably the biggest thing that counts.