For most college athletes, competing in a prestigious international competition is merely a dream. Winning is an even bigger challenge. For First-year Anna Eames, this dream has become a reality.
Anna began her swimming career at the age of five and initially picked the sport to copy her older brother. Although she tried out several other sports during her childhood, Anna discovered that her true passion was swimming.
In September of 2008, Anna competed in the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. She swam the 100 meter butterfly, the 200 meter individual medley and the 50, 100 and 400 meter freestyle. Not only did Anna compete in the 2008 games, but she also won a gold medal in the butterfly and a bronze medal in the 100 freestyle.
“I had done really well at World Championships in 2006, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well and to finally win after all my hard work was so amazing and relieving,” Anna said.
As for her future plans with the Paralympics, Anna has a place on the 2010 National Team. Competition for the World Championships will take place in San Antonio, TX in March. The next meet would take place in August in Holland. Anna says that she is excited to compete with her team again.
“The other paralympians are such inspirational people. With everything that they have gone through, it is amazing what they have been able to accomplish,” Anna said.
Although she is extremely busy with her athletic competitions outside of school, Anna enjoys competing with the swim team here at Gustavus, as well. “The swim team here is amazing. We work really hard and have tons of fun, and I really feel like we are a team. It doesn’t matter what speed you are; everyone is part of the team as much as anyone else,” Anna said.
She said that she enjoys the personal atmosphere on the Gustavus team, especially the cheers. One of her favorite parts of being on this team is that she loves to train with her teammates, something that does not really happen in the paralympic world.
There is no doubt that Anna’s success both on the paralympic team and with the Gusties will only build in the coming years, as a result of her positive attitude and athletic dedication.
“She is always working hard and never gives up. She contributes at the meets and is always cheering for her teammates,” First-year Shannon Tschida said.
“The Gustavus Swimming and Diving Team has gained a fabulous swimmer, teammate and friend this year with Anna Eames, and I am so excited to spend the rest of my swimming career at Gustavus swimming with her,” Sophomore Melissa Aune said.
Be sure to watch for our fellow Gustie, Anna Eames, in both national and international athletic news throughout the upcoming year, as it will be an exciting one for her.