What a marvelous, stimulating and challenging read was this interview with young swimming and academic star – Mario Ervedosa. Almost hard to believe that he is still a youth if you read the depth, insight and wise perspective of this young athlete. Well done parents, Craword College and his entire support community, for producing such a fine and grounded young man. Mario is a deep thinker , analytical and fair, with a hugely philosophical streak, very mathsy and very proudly part of Team Angola. He is spurred on and driven by a profound curiosity of things around him and life in general.
I love his favourite scripture: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world”, from the book of Romans.
He says “I am a bit of book worm and if I would describe myself it would be more to the introverted side – but that’s not to say I don’t like to socialize with people, which I love doing. The characteristics I’d like to be mostly known for is my general simplicity with life and ambition to always reach for greater things. Also I hope to be an intellectual man now and in the future”.
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Mario Ervedosa|
|Date of birth||28 May 1998|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Club||TUKS Swimming Club|
|Coach’s Name||Igor Omeltchenko|
|Out of Country events/ meets||CANA Zone IV Mauritius 2016
SADC U20 Youth Games Angola 2016
|Secondary Sport/ sports||Soccer|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||Cinderella – Mac Miller / Indie and Folk|
|School & Grade||University of Pretoria – First Year BSc Actuarial and Financial Mathematics|
|Instagram names||IG – marvericks|
|Parents Names, siblings||Father – Miguel
Mother – Rosangela
Q: Firstly – you have just received the top academic award at Crawford Pretoria for Matric 2016 – wow and well done. What is on your heart and mind right now about this wonderful achievement/ your secret?
Thank you very much! I’m really pleased with my results and weirdly enough I see my dux scholar tittle as just an added bonus more than something I worked for. As for how I feel about this award, I don’t think words can describe how I feel, but numbers can so I’d definitely give it 10 out of 10. Right now all I can think about is all the time I put in over my high School career has payed off in ways I didn’t imagine. My secret to this achievement – was just learning how to study smart and consistently, not necessarily applying myself too hard.
Q: What advice do you have for top athletes who also want to excel at academics like you?
The only thing I can say is that you’ll have to give up a lot of entertainment and leisurely time if you want to succeed in both academics and sports. This isn’t to say one should never go out with friends or watch a good series, but to a lesser extent one should be able to rank those activities as less important. Secondly, I think you need to be able to master your time management – by this I mean you need to learn the skill of working smart and not necessarily hard. The reason being most times you won’t have the luxury of attending extra classes because of an important practice session – or vice versa. So as a student athlete you need to minimize those types of occurrences as much as possible. Lastly just enjoy what you are doing or else why would you be doing it.
Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?
I started swimming from a very young age in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. From there during my primary school career I swam at Tuks with Irene Omeltchenko. I was never fully serious about it, I used to swim out of recreation (and mostly to not become fat). Until Grade 4 came and then I began swimming for my school Waterkloof Primary School. It was at these friendly school meets where I started finding a passion for racing and swimming. After this I switched over to my junior coach, Rocco Meiring, where I began competing and medalling at local provincial and even sometimes national age group meets. Training with him was super tough, due to his long distance and endurance program, and I began learning that I was a pretty decent breaststroker. Currently, however I train with Igor Omeltchenko, the TUKS head coach, since switching to him 2 years ago. I think I’m enjoying my swimming now more than ever, as a sprinter and breaststroker. This year has been really great for me in terms of my swimming career. I am representing my country Angola at an international level, after recently medalling at CANA Zone IV in Mauritius as we’ll as the U20 SADC Games now in December. I hope to go to Hungary for World Champs this year, that is one of my goals!
Q: Who are you?
I am just average adolescent who has found a love for mathematics, hence why I am studying Actuarial Science, and an inquisitive approach to always wanting to learn new things in my life. I think most people would describe me as an intellectual but I’m more curios than anything else. I enjoy spending time with close friends.
Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?
My highest accolade in swimming would be my gold medal victory in the 50m breaststroke while representing my country, Angola, at last year’s CANA Zone IV in Mauritius. The reason being, this was my first time ever representing a national team and medalling at an international meet. With regards to my greatest personal achievement in terms of my whole career as a student and swimmer would be in becoming my school’s dux scholar during a year where my swimming exponentially improved.
Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?
I generally believe in a greater power and that ultimately there are things in this universe that one simply cannot fathom. Whether that is a faith or not, I like to think of it as a way of keeping me humbled and a motivation to always seek more from the world, through education and learning, as well as a way to seek more form my body as a human being – to see how far I may push my boundaries – hence where I think my drive for swimming comes from. Thus my philosophy of life is to be kind and charitable to anyone regardless of their background.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I like to play piano when I’m stressed out at home. It just lets me forget about everything and focus on one thing. While swimming I suppose the best thing I do to relax is to ironically not think about my swimming or event too much at the wrong time.
Q: So, you are a brilliant swimmer and academic – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂
I’m awfully terrible at singing but the even more depressing part is that I love to sing.
Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change – Stephen Hawking
Q: What is your favourite Bible quote?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world – Romans 12:2
Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?
That person who finds happiness in that which she practices. I think the best example to answer this question is found in Macklemore’s song Growing Up, “Don’t try and change the world, find something that you love and do it everyday, do that for the rest of your life, and eventually the world will change.” And it is once you achieve that change, whether on a huge or minor scale, that is when I believe to success is achieved. Therefore, in my opinion the man who is happy everyday for selling simple hotdogs is just as successful as Mark Zuckenburg, the founder of Facebook.
Q: What’s your WHY ? Why do you do what you do?
I have the belief that in my life one should strive to attain levels of understanding. By this, I mean, coming to understand the world and the people I live with on a physical, metaphysical, and eventually a spiritual or philosophical level. The reason this matters so much to me is because I truly believe that when you understand something or someone you are able to respond, to how people and things act, in the most efficient and correct manner, by causing the least harm. To give two examples, if we as humans could understand the workings and origins of the entire universe, imagine the amount of innovate ideas and fallacies would be dismissed. Secondly, and more importantly, if people of different races, cultures, and religions sought to understand other people’s background, upbringing or culture — it would almost entirely if not wholly eliminate the prospect for prejudice. The reason this is so important is that prejudice creates the vacuum in which feelings of fear, hate, and mistrust arise. The unknown inherently forces us to be more fearful and is this the same fear that is the cause of all the violence and war. Thus when you know the reasons why someone performs both an evil or good deed you objectively decide on how to respond and react so that your decision creates a better future not just for you but that person as well. That is the search for knowledge and understanding matters to me.
I hope to inspire the youth (if I can even say that considering I am the youth) to search for this understanding of others and the society around them. And I think the best way to do that is to constantly experience new things and endeavor into long meaningful projects either in sport, business or education so as to appreciate the value of hardworking which is universally valued.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
I’m an anime addict and hardcore Mac Miller fan. Cash me outside how bah dah.
Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!
NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.