The Asheville School's Voice

Interview With Alec Sands

August 14, 2017

5th Former Alex Sands, a co-captain of the Bahamian Swim Team for the CARIFTA Games, led his team to victory and earned himself a gold medal.

How long have you been swimming for?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been swimming. I started swimming when I was seven. My mom teaches swimming. So I’ve been swimming competitively since I was 12 but I’ve been in the pool since I was seven. I realized around twelve that there are a lot of doors that will open because of swimming so I started trying harder. It led me to boarding school and, hopefully, college.

How did you get into it?

This is actually a pretty cool story. I had asthma and one of the reasons I swam is because swimming is really good for asthma. I used to play soccer, baseball, and swimming since I was 10. Then a doctor diagnosed me with diabetes and so I almost got into a coma. My mom took me to the hospital and she couldn’t wake me up. It was pretty scary. Because of that, I dropped soccer since was around that time I was in the hospital for about a week. But then I went to a different hospital and it turned out that I didn’t have diabetes. My mom and me had countless arguments about me getting in the pool. We got into many arguments about me not wanting to go to practice and she would tell me, “You have to.” And if I didn’t go to practice, she was in a bad mood for the rest of the night. I didn’t even need to swim fast in practice, but I would just show my face to make my mom feel good. She was a huge motivation for me. She keeps me on track, especially in boarding school, when I don’t have anyone chasing me around. It has been hard going to practice but now I’m kind of focused. I have a future in Youth Commonwealth so that’s going to keep me in the pool this summer.

What have you accomplished as a swimmer here?

I was a state champion last year, but I wasn’t able to win this year. There was a new guy who committed to the University of Wisconsin and he came out of nowhere. Here, I’ve broken multiple records and hopefully I’ll set more next year. My goal is to break every record except hundred-breast stroke. So that’s what I’m looking forward to next year. I’ve broken the 200 Free, 200 IM, 100 Free, and 100 Fly. I don’t have the 500 free but I want to get that. So there are four but I was on relay teams that broke a lot of records.

Can you talk more about the CARIFTA race? Which races did you end up swimming in?

So it was a 400-medley relay. It was actually a big discussion with my coaches; I wasn’t supposed to swim it. But I proved myself. The CARIFTA has over 20 Caribbean countries. About a week ago I was told that I’m swimming in the Youth Commonwealth Games. So all the commonwealth countries will be competing. It is like the Olympics but it’s on a smaller scale. So I was pretty excited to hear that.

Do you have any other goals set for the future?

As far as the Olympics, my overall goal is to make 2020, which will be in Japan in about three years. That’s my main goal and that’s a long-term goal. Whenever I don’t feel like practicing I just remind myself that it’s all for a reason. I would love to represent the Bahamas in Japan 2020. That’s why I stay in the pool. That’s what I look at.

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