Excited to feature one of Africa’s finest daughters, Egyptian swimming champion, Farida Osman. She was a young Olympian at the age of 17 and now her sails are set for Rio Olympics. Nicknamed the Golden Fish, this young star and multiple record breaker is US born but proudly raised in Cairo, Egypt. She is currently studying at University of California, Berkeley and proudly part of Team Golden Bears.
She says “I am a hard worker and passionate young lady that happened to have little talent and would like to pursue my dream of having an Olympic medal for my country. I would like to share my experience with the young athletes back home to give them the hope and will to succeed by pursuing their dream”.
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Farida Osman|
|Date of birth||18 January 1995|
|Place of birth||Indiana USA|
|Current City||Berkeley California|
|Club||Cal Swimming & Diving|
|Coach’s Name||Teri Mckeever|
|Out of Country events/ meets (most recent)||Arena Pro swim series|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||Anything by Beyonce and Rihanna/Hiphop/R&B|
|Favorite Movie||White Chicks|
|Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name||Instagram: farida_osman
Facebook: Farida Osman
|Parents Names, siblings||Dr. Hisham Osman
Dr. Randa Elsalawy
Q: You are headed for the Rio Olympics, your second Olympics and again a life long dream realized. You will proudly represent your country Egypt. Wow and well done! What is on your heart and mind right now concerning this qualification/ pending Olympics?
I qualified for the 2nd Olympics (London 2012 and now Rio) in 2 events till now; 50 free and 100 fly. I am very happy that I will represent my country Egypt and will do all my best to make Egypt proud. I am staying in Berkeley alone the whole summer training here with my coach till Rio on 6th of August. It gets hard to be away from my family and friends but I guess it’s worth the sacrifice.
Q: Girls fight a particular battle and have their own sets of challenges in the swimming arena. Would you like to share your thoughts on this?
As a swimmer girl here in California, there are absolutely no differences between boys and girls in terms of duties or limitations in the team. I train only with women in Berkeley as the men have another coach/program. I spend most of the day with my teammates, so they are my family here. Of course women always have their limitations in some days in the month, but I learned how to manage all my problems to avoid any hindrance in my training.
Q: What would your advice be to young athletes?
My advice to young athletes, not only girls, is to never give up on your dreams and to be committed and determined to it because it is definitely worth the journey. So if you want to succeed and achieve your goal, you have to work hard and accept that you have to be out of your comfort zone because it is not easy.
Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your journey and how it has affected your life / sports?
I always believed in myself since I started swimming at a very young age. My parents supported me and still are, all the way by encouraging me and by getting rid of all obstacles that may distract me or prevent me from reaching my goal. I got an athletic scholarship in one of the best schools in America in academics as well as swimming (UC Berkeley). It is very tough to live alone at the age of 18 and take care of many things in this young age (Meals, Laundry, finances, besides the new school, new training, new friends, new country …… ). After the first year, I was able to adapt to this new system and I definitely learned a lot from it. It not only made me a stronger swimmer but a stronger person as well. I am now tough, responsible and independent.
Q: Beside swimming, what else do you have a passion for?
Besides swimming, I have a passion for listening to music, watching ‘Friends,’ and shopping with my friends.
Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?
My favorite quote is: “Never a failure always a lesson”.
Q: Your have an interesting journey, US born, brought up in Cairo Egypt and currently studying in the USA – tell me a little about that?
I was born in Indiana USA where my parents (Dentists) did their postgraduate studies. I grew up in Cairo Egypt till I was 18 years old. I studied in a French school (Lycee Francais du Caire) till the Brevet degree and then I moved to Cairo American College in the high school where I graduated in 2013 and I got a full scholarship at UC Berkeley. I was also accepted in many good US schools like Harvard with scholarship but I chose UC Berkeley because it was a great balance of academics and sports.
Q: In your opinion, how do you define greatness in life?
I think greatness in life is to follow your dream, work hard, fight and never give up till you reach your goal. Then pass your experience and success to others in an attempt to give back to your community.
Q: What’s your WHY ?
I already answered this above but I would like to be a great Female Ambassador to my country where I can inspire young female athletes to pursue their dreams and that there’s more to life than just getting your nails and hair done haha.
Q: One thing about you that the world does not know 🙂
I hate to admit it but I actually enjoy watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” haha. I follow them on all social media. I know its lame but it is definitely entertaining
Q: Favourite meal?
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.