From the Ocean to the Pool

Friday, July 27, 2012

Water has always been the second home of American Samoan swimmer Ching Maou Wei, and now the 26 year old is only weeks away from competing at the London 2012 Olympics.

From a young age Ching realised he belonged in the water, “I went on fishing trips with my father after school, I loved the water and it has evolved from there.”

The standard of Ching’s swimming was evident as he enjoyed swimming and body boarding with his friends. The challenge for the young American Samoan was that his training pool was the Ocean, there was no swimming pool on his Island.

“During the rainy season it is hard, I can’t practice in the sea because the water is dirty, but to make my dreams of competing at the Olympics come true, we found a way around it.”

Ching’s dreams are coming true, in only a matter of weeks he will be taking to the pool in London and competing against the world’s greatest in the 50m freestyle. He is currently based in the North West of England, focused on his final preparations ahead of the games. During a training session in Liverpool, Ching said “it is a great experience to use all the facilities here, hopefully we can have something like this back in American Samoa one day.”

Competing at the Olympics is going to be a life changing experience, Ching hopes he can do American Samoa proud and perform to his best.

Being born and raised in American Samoa meant Ching was excited to see the reaction of his home nation when they learnt he had been selected. “I hope it sends out a message to young children of American Samoa, that if I can swim at the Olympics one day they could too.”

By Matt Bowcott of The Reporters' Academy