In this guest blog, MySwimPro Ambassador Simon Shi shares his swimming story, including how he transitioned to triathlon after his college swimming career.
My name is Simon Shi. I’m a triathlete and MySwimPro Ambassador living in Chandler, Arizona.
Swimming has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents put me in the summer swim team when I was 7 years old. I also did other activities like baseball, ice skating, and basketball. I was always outside, searching for adventures and playing games with my neighbors.
I decided to focus on swimming during my high school years, since I wanted to swim at a Division 1 college. I won 2 high school state titles during my senior year, and was recruited to swim at Virginia Tech.
I studied computer science there, and was captain of the swim team my senior year. It was an incredible experience!
I’ve been so fortunate to make lots of friends and experience a lot of things through the sport. I got to travel to different places for competitions while having a ton of fun with my teammates.
I got the opportunity to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs 3 times during my swimming career. The 3rd time, in 2016, I met Fares, the CEO of MySwimPro!
I have swum in competitions with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers, Katie Ledecky, Natalie Coughlin, and many other superstar Olympians and up and coming swimmers. It was so motivating to race alongside the best in the world!
After my last college swim season, I had 1 more competition left: the 2020 Canadian Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, this competition was postponed to 2021 and I decided to finish my swimming career and move on to the next chapter of my life.
Setting New Goals
March and April 2020 were really tough for me. I was finishing up my college degree during lockdown and I was thinking about what I wanted to do in life and with my physical goals.
I didn’t want to give up swimming, so I decided to try triathlons. I was already great at 1 of the 3 disciplines, and I loved the toughness of the sport. I started running and biking immediately toward the end of March. I haven’t swum in a long time since the pools were shut down, so I have been focused on improving my running and cycling.
I am currently training for my first triathlon, which is a Half Ironman on May 1, 2021. After that, I will set my sights on full Ironman races later in the 2021 season. My ultimate goal is to complete a full Ironman and make it to the World Championships in Hawaii!
Swimming has given me so much. It has taught me important life lessons and connected me with some incredible people. I’m on a mission to inspire more people to enjoy the sport, and to give back to the next generation of swimmers.