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Meet the Athlete – Valerijs Lebedevs

Valerijs Lebedevs is a student from Croatia excited to be part of the well-known Saint Peter’s swimming team.

1. What made you decide to become a swimmer?
In elementary school swimming was mandatory for all students, starting from the first grade through third grade. Everyone had to go to a swimming pool. After that they asked whoever wanted to continue, especially kids who were good at it. I wasn’t an outstanding swimmer at that point but I just liked it. So, I decided to continue, at least I think so. To be honest it was probably my parent’s decision.

2. Who has been your biggest role model throughout your athletic career?
My biggest role model throughout my athletic career was my brother Maksims. He’s six years older than me. All my life I was looking up to him. He didn’t become an athlete but he’s just an unbelievably great person. I’m amazed what he has done and I don’t think anyone can do something similar to that. He’s the most important person in my life.

3. As a senior, what are some of your expectations for your team this year?
This year we have the strongest team and the greatest coaching staff Saint Peter’s has ever had. I expect from my team to win all swim meets through the whole year and then surprise all teams at MAACs.

4. Do you have any pre-swim meet rituals? If so, what are they?
Before I leave my house I sit quiet for a minute. Also, I just listen to music. The same playlist I listen to when I go to practices. Music reminds me just how tough the season was, i.e. every 6am practice I went to.

5. If you could describe your team in 3 words, what words would you use and why?
I will say just use one word – family. We are just one big family. Despite all of us being so different, we are so close to each other.

Favorite movie: The Blow
Favorite food:  My mum’s food
Favorite quote: “Make every obstacle an opportunity.”
One interesting fact: I’m Russian even though I’m from Latvia.


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