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Swimmers Sacrifice "Important Times" for six packs ...

by Rich Cole
Story taken from UVic's "Martlet" newspaper

The Vikes' successful showing at Commonwealth pool last weekend illustrates the depth of the Varsity program, as UVic continues to dominate the CIS's year after year.

Peter Vizsolyi, now in his 20th year with the Vikes, has coached hundreds of swimmers from water-winged-wearing beginners to CIS contenders. With fifth-year veteran Kellie Rolston also retiring this year, Vizsolyi reflected on the true significance of an event such as the Interuniversity Championships. He recalled this year's great performances and said that, while he is really impressed with each medal, he feels that a coach's job is more than just breeding a fast competitor.

"Swim meets are really more to do with learning about yourself, how you can grow and change," he said. "These kids are giving up an important time in their lives to swim with the Vikes. Sometimes helping the swimmers grow as people can be even more important than their racing stats.

Vizsolyi's coaching philosophy seems to be the key to the Vikes'; continued success.  The Vikes continue to win in and out of the pool. Future up-and-comers like Danielle Bell or Laina Steeple seem to be picking UVic for Vizsolyi and his team's great track record.

Swimming is a grueling test of an individual's true potential. Unlike most sports, there's not much to blame a loss on. No mechanical failures, no souped up equipment, just an athlete and the water.

For Phil Weiss, his UVic swimming career "has been an amazing personal adventure."

When I joked around and asked the retiring swimmers if they were going to buy walkers and spend the winters in Florida, Dave MacDonald laughed and said, "Yeah, me and Weiss are going to gain a hundred pounds...each." While it made for a great joke, the truth is that the retiring Vikes will spend the rest of their lives giving back to the sport that made them who they are.

Judging from the amount of Sidney Piranhas and Pacific Coast Swimmers cheering on their UVic mentors, the next generation of Vikes are well on their way.

Dave MacDonald even said that he'd tell any future Vike "the secret location of the showers in the Clearhue Building."

He said that he'd tell me once I qualified for CI's. Damn.