2014Feb 20

@LU_SPAD Student Athlete Profile: Jordan Hotta – LU Varsity Swim Team

Jordan Hotta is a first year SPAD student on is also on the swim team here at Laurentian. Although Jordan is in his first year here at Laurentian, he does have some past post-secondary education. He also recently attended the OUA swim competition at Brock University. He discusses all of that, and more in this blog interview. Enjoy!

Jordan in the water

Jordan in the water

SB: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I’ll start off by asking how you are enjoying your first year in SPAD?

JH: My first year in SPAD was a nice change in pace from my Western Medical Science degree. Highlights of the SPAD program to me are definitely the personal learning experience afforded to students by the highly invested staff. In SPAD you can definitely tell that both students and teachers are here because they truly love what they are doing, and not just to ramble on, or earn a slip of paper.

SB: You used to attend the University of Western Ontario, what did you study there? What made you want to switch to Laurentian and SPAD?

JH: At Western I was enrolled in the Bachelor of Medical Science program, specifically in the Physiology and Medical Cell Biology streams. I decided that Laurentian would be my next step because I wanted to pursue competitive swimming at my home pool under a coach I know and trust, Phil Parker. Further, SPAD seemed like just the right mix of the practical and theoretical aspects of business, with some nice athletic flavor thrown in. Skills inherent in business, in my opinion, represent a highly transferable credential that could compliment my science background.

SB: How long have you been swimming competitively? Where did you find such a passion for the sport?

JH: I’ve been swimming competitively for around ten years up to this point; however, that span of time isn’t without a few breaks. I originally attended Western set on training, and competing in royal purple; but the rigors of academics bested me in my youth. After a four year hiatus, I realized that chlorine is in my blood and I needed to get back in the pool – enter Laurentian. The atmosphere at LU pool conjured from not only fellow swimmers and coaches, but from the history of Olympic gold and world record setting swims, is something that gets into your veins and builds an insatiable hunger for the roar of competition. When you get in the water, and this may sound cliché, it feels like the whole world, and all of the problems that hammer on you, day in and day out, just flow off. When you get in the pool, it’s just you, the water rushing by your ears, the black line running underneath you, and a goal of where you want to be in 1, 2, 3, or 4 years.

SB: You recently represented Laurentian at the OUA Swim meets earlier in February, how was that experience for you? Will there be any more competitions this year?

JH: The OUA experience was something that I’d been waiting for, for a long time – since I was a club swimmer looking up to the “varsity guys.” My expectations were definitely exceeded. The air in the Brock pool was electric, the stands were full, the deck was packed; and for a few exhilarating races you could tell everyone there had put their chips all in. In particular was the 4x100m freestyle relay, a classic underdog scenario. Off the third exchange the defending champs still held the lead but then the a team seeded third in the race began to charge; every spectator was on their feet cheering, chanting, whatever they needed to do to will their team on to victory. The gap was shrinking precipitously and the two last racers were running out of pool. As both competitors extended aching arms into the wall, the finish was too close to call. Everyone’s eyes darted to the scoreboard, the third ranked team had upset the defending champs, it was this sort of collective excitement that I had dreamt of experiencing as a chubby ten year old who just loved to fool around underwater.

For me personally, I had the bad luck of getting food poisoning on my first night of competition – it will be the last time I order a roast beef sandwich at a meet, instead of my usual pasta and chicken. Despite this, I was able to mine 3/3 for best times and get a second swim in my 50m breaststroke, finishing in 13th place. I knew going into the season I would need to fight every day in order to make up the ground I lost during my 4 year reprieve from the water. With that in my mind, my goals for 2013/14 were all very nearly met, aside from my ongoing battle to score a CIS time standard in the 50m distance.

The varsity season has drawn to a close; however, I will still be competing for the Voyageurs sister club, the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club.

SB: Do you ever find it challenging to balance both school and sports?

JH: There are certainly times when the strains of meeting the expectations I set for myself both academically and athletically seem daunting. With that in mind, I think it’s important to be conscious of the balancing acts that everyone experiences. I’m fortunate enough to be balancing a sport I love with an education I find interesting. That being said, I always try to always remain relaxed and tackle one challenge at a time, whether it’s a monstrous set in swimming, or an assignment for class.

SB: What are some of your aspirations after completing your degree in SPAD?

JH: I would love to be involved with Swimming Canada; or aquatic sport in general. The understanding of the human body from my physiology background, coupled with management skills from SPAD will give me a unique perspective on how best to elevate and push the sport of swimming forward. I would also like to coach swimming on the side if time allows – the swim world is one I never want to stray from again.

SB: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Good luck with the rest of your semester!

JH: Thanks so much!

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