Amber Smith is exactly as her name states “a precious jewel” not only our SA swimming arena but also in other areas in life. Just like a beautiful piece of jewelry, she had to go through some tough moments of “fire”, in her swimming career, but she still managed to rise all the way to the top – as true champions do! She says” I am back and I have bigger goals. Stopping swimming was a terrible decision but it motivated me to coming back and working harder than ever before”.
About who she is she says “I would say I am a very dedicated, motivated and hard working person. Many of my qualities I have learnt from my old coaches Mr and Mrs Melton, John Wright, Dominque Donner, Linda De Jager and my current coach Rocco Meiring, my Mom and my swimming teammates. It is because of the amazing people in my life that I strive to give only my best and dream big”. She is also a decicated academic at Crawford College Pretoria.
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Amber Summer Smith|
|Date of birth||11 June 1999|
|Place of birth||Cape Town|
|Coach’s Name||Rocco Meiring|
|Secondary Sport/ sports||Open water swimming|
|Favorite City||Could not pick a favorite, all the city’s in our country are beautiful.|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||All music and all songs by Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shaun Mendes and Twenty one pilots.|
|Favorite Movie||I can’t choose a favorite but enjoy watching Disney films and comedies.|
|School & Grade||Crawford College Pretoria, Grade 12|
|Instagram and Facebook||amber_summer_smith|
|Parents Names, siblings||Mother – Tracy-lee Smith
Brothers – Aryn and Kaylan Geekie
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 really enjoy swimming and it has become my life! I enjoy the training, the traveling, the people and most of all competing, however swimming did not come easy to me. I started swimming in grade 4 when I was 10 and it was after I swam an inter-house gala that the coaches at my school spoke to my parents and told them that I should start training. I had always loved the water and was always in the pool as a kid but In the beginning I did not like the idea of training so many hours and would often ask my mom not to go but as stubborn and hard working as my mom is she did not allow me to miss any training because she knew that I was made to swim. For this I am forever grateful. As I began swimming more galas meeting more people I was hooked and swimming became my everything. I started to grow and swim better and faster. Everything was going well until 3 years ago I made the decision to stop swimming, my parents got divorced and my mom and I moved up to Pretoria. After 8 months I realized that I need to swim that I missed swimming. As I started training again it was tough, I was 18kg heavier and unfit but I didn’t give up I made sure I attended every training session. It took me 2 years but now I’m on top of my game. I am back and I have bigger goals. Stopping swimming was a terrible decision but it motivated me to coming back and working harder than ever before.
Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.
I would say I am a very dedicated, motivated and hard working person. Many of my qualities I have learnt from my old coaches Mr and Mrs Melton, John Wright, Dominque Donner, Linda De Jager and my current coach Rocco Meiring, my Mom and my swimming teammates. It is because of the amazing people in my life that I strive to give only my best and dream big. My biggest challenge would be Matric because of the demanding work load I need to ensure that I stay focused on my goals
Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?
I would say that my biggest achievement in swimming was being able to swim at Nationals and being able to see swimmers from South Africa qualify for Olympics, it was a spectacular experience and although I have not been at the top I have big dreams, though preparation I am willing to work as hard as I need to reach my dreams. I must say my biggest personal accomplishment would defiantly be making the decision to come back into the swimming.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’m not really one who relaxes, I enjoy being busy all the time. I enjoy traveling and being adventurous. I enjoy cycling, surfing, ice skating, go-karting and riding dirt bikes. I enjoy going out to lunches and dinners with friends, having movie nights and going to music festivals.
Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?
I believe education is very important and it is the foundation on which we build on. Education helps people to understand and connect. I have never been a person who loves school but I have always tried to give my best, with a good education you are aware of what is needed to succeed. This will give you the strength to know that you have the ability to do anything you put your mind too.
Q: So, you are a brilliant swimmer and academic – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂
If I would have to say something I would say my weakness is saying no to chocolate!
Q: What is your personal favorite motivational quote?
“If you want to be the best, you have to do things other people aren’t willing to do”- Michael Phelps
Everyday people are finding more ways to get faster and if you are not willing to go the extra mile you won’t be able to keep up with the people who will.
Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?
Success means different things to different people however everyone knows the extraordinary feeling of success. Success is the outcome of big dreams with no excuses, success is the ability to face challenges and overcome obstacles by making sacrifices. Success is the result of the hard work. A successful person is someone who never gives up and is always focused and fearless in pursuing their dream.
I love swimming. It is a part of my everyday routine, most people don’t understand that training to swimmers is like going to school, you must do it and there are no off days. Swimmers must always look for ways to improve and to do this they must try new things that others are not willing to, with my dream of competing with the best I hope that one day I can inspire younger athletes that by going the extra mile you are not crazy but rather the opposite you are enthusiastic and devoted.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
Swimming is my life and I one day hope to be a swimming coach, to motivate and inspire other young athletes to reach for their dreams.
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!