MENU

Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

Junior+Samir+Ozaki+has+been+plagued+with+injuries+and+illnesses+this+season%2C+but+his+optimism+and+perseverance+have+never+wavered.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

Junior Samir Ozaki has been plagued with injuries and illnesses this season, but his optimism and perseverance have never wavered.

Junior Samir Ozaki has been plagued with injuries and illnesses this season, but his optimism and perseverance have never wavered.

Junior Samir Ozaki has been plagued with injuries and illnesses this season, but his optimism and perseverance have never wavered.

Junior Samir Ozaki has been plagued with injuries and illnesses this season, but his optimism and perseverance have never wavered.

By Stefan Simic, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Whether he’s in the water swimming or playing water polo, junior Samir Ozaki is always on the move. Since he was a child, Ozaki has spent most of his free time in a pool, which he credits for making him who he is today.

Ozaki has been swimming since he was a kid and it was his main sport until high school, where the concept of water polo caught his attention.

“Being in the water is just my style. I started swimming around eight years old for club team Swift Aquatics. I stayed there till high school, where I discovered my passion for water polo,” Ozaki said. “Being in the pool for most of my life taught me that hard-work goes a long way.”

Ever since he started playing polo freshman year, Ozaki climbed up the ranks. Starting with no experience at all, he worked hard and now is one of the star players for the varsity team.

“Freshman year was the first year I picked up a water polo ball,” Ozaki said. “I had no prior experience, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and worked hard to get to where I am today.”

Ozaki’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Teammate and junior Jimmy Berg¬†witnessed how much Ozaki has grown in only three years.

“He was the first one in the pool, and the last one to the leave the pool,” Berg said. “If he saw a flaw in his technique or stroke he would work tirelessly to correct it. He never had a problem with criticism, and actually urged us to tell him what he was doing wrong.”

This past year was a rough one for Ozaki. Plagued by injury and illness, he missed out on the majority of the swim season and the polo season.

“This year for sure was the toughest year for me at West. I was studying hard every day, whether it was for school or the SAT/ACT. I saw swimming and water polo as a way to escape all the stress from school, but shortly after the beginning of the swim season, I tore my rotator cuff, which basically marked the end of the season for me,” Ozaki said. “Then when polo season came around I was in the water for the majority of the season until a series of illness’ prevented me from going in.”

Teammate and sophomore William Thannert saw all the struggles Ozaki went through firsthand and was sympathetic toward him.

“Being a soccer player, a swimmer, and a polo player, I too have had my fair share of injuries,” Thannert said. “Having an injury which prevents you to play is the worst thing any athlete in the world can experience. You wake up every day hoping your injury would just go away, and when it doesn’t it makes you feel hopeless. Watching Samir sit out during our practices was a painful sight to see, considering the fact that I knew how much he wanted to get in and play.”

Although this year wasn’t the best year for Ozaki, he is still optimistic about the future.

“If there’s one thing that swimming and water polo taught me is that you can’t give up no matter how bad it is,” Ozaki said. “You have to show energy in everything you do. Resilience is the key to success.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

    Academics

    Accolades Ceremony 2019

  • Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

    Carousel

    10 Things To Do Over The Summer

  • Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

    Carousel

    5 Easy Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  • Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

    Carousel

    I Get Fake Nails For The First Time

  • Samir Ozaki: Just Keep Swimming

    Academics

    Class of 2019 College Decisions

Navigate Right