2023 NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- March 22-25, 2023
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center | Minneapolis, MN
- SCY (25 yards)
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- 1650 Free Heat Sheet
Every swimmer knows that feeling. It’s well before dawn. All your (non-swimming) friends are still sleeping. You’re in a swimsuit, fumbling with your goggles, probably muttering semi-coherently, staring at the (presumably) cold water and dreading jumping in and grinding through another practice.
You ask yourself “why?” And sure, swimmers and swim coaches can recite platitudes about “trust the process” and how your teammates are your best friends, but deep down inside, most swimmers want a little more.
During post-race interviews, most swimmers stick to the safe party-line answers. But Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan, moments after winning the 100 fly last night with the 2nd-fastest performance in history, got a little real, and interview Elizabeth Beisel opted to let him talk rather than ask additional questions. The result was this all-time great sound byte:
Youssef Ramadan with an absolutely-iconic post-race interview. This is basically swimming in a nutshell. It's the grind. It's the work. It's the will to be great. #ncaasd pic.twitter.com/6TRkZeK9G3
— Braden Keith (@Braden_Keith) March 25, 2023
Here’s a transcription of the interview above, courtesy of commenter Supafly23:
Like after three years, finally, three years. Like these guys, they were always faster than me. I came from zero, you know, every year I had a chance to win, but something happened.
And finally, it’s my time, you know, so many people had faith in me, so many people had faith in me, because they know that I put the hard work in this. Like, I, I put so much into this.
I sleep every day, early, like a bot. Wake up. 5am swimming, cold pool. I hated it. I hated it. But I knew every…I was saying one day, I’m gonna be NCAA champion. One day, I’m gonna be a champion. Today is finally that day. I am NCAA champion!
Ramadan, a native of Egypt, burst onto the scene in 2021 with an incredible ACC Championships. He had the fastest time in the nation heading into NCAAs, but was DQ’d in prelims. Last year, he made it safely out of prelims, but took 3rd in finals, less than two-tenths behind Stanford’s Andrei Minakov.
Many more cold, dark mornings, and countless laps, later, Ramadan gets to say that he is a NCAA champion, providing a reminder for swimmers everywhere of one reason they do what other people find at least a little crazy.
Talk about earning it. Well done. Congrats to to Sergio
The lights are bright in Blacksburg tonight.
GO Youssef. GO HOKIES.
He’s paving the way. 🦃 🔥
Thank you for being so authentic, Youssef!
everyone has these thoughts as a swimmer. no one says it because it’s unprofessional or whatever. but swimming frikin Sucks sometimes! the work you put in is hard and draining, and it’s so hard to believe it will pay off sometimes. but when it does, it Really Does. this is the realest interview of all time and i’m so glad he said it- maybe more swimmers will take to his interview style, because everyone is just like “thanks to my coach and team for this one” but we never hear about the grueling process behind it.
I AM NCAA CHAMPION……yes indeed
What an interview, I’m a fan!
I wonder if he was fasting for Ramadan, if so even on more impressive performance
That’s idiotic. No he wasn’t
For pro sportsmen I think it’s allowed to break the fast