Athlete of the Week: Michelle Liu

Year: Sophomore Sport: Swim

Country of origin: China

Major: Communications


The Corsair: How did you get into swimming?

Michelle Lui: When I was a child, my mother enrolled me in swim classes just for fun.


TC: Who inspires you the most when it comes to swimming?

ML: Actually, I quit swimming a year ago. After I transferred to SMC, I decided to join again just to stay fit.


TC: Why did you choose swimming over all other sports?

Michelle Lui: My mother wanted me to get in shape as a child, so she enrolled me in swimming classes. Ever since, I’ve been into swimming.


TC: Who is your favorite professional athlete?

ML: Chinese Olympic Track-and-Field Gold Medal Champion Liu Xiang. He won the gold medal for the 110-meter hurdles.  I’d like to meet him. I’ve heard he’s very kind.


TC: What are your goals and plans after SMC?

ML: My goal after SMC is to transfer to Loyola Marymount University. I’d like to continue swimming at LMU. Once I graduate, I will go back to China.


TC: What keeps you mentally focused when you’re competing?

Michelle Lui: I don’t think about anything-- I just swim.


TC: Have you acquired any medals from competitions? If so, where?

Michelle Lui: Yes, I was the State Champion for the 100 individual medley in April last year. I also won the silver medal in both the 200 individual freestyle medley and the100 freestyle.


TC: When you’re not competing in swim meets, what do you do for fun?

ML:  I go shopping, and when I can, I sleep.


TC: What are your plans after the season is done?

ML:  Once the season is done, I will proceed to focus on school and continue swimming in a club.


TC: How would you encourage a newcomer to swim?

ML: Don’t fear the water, just jump in and have fun!


TC: What does the water you swim in represent to you?

ML: When I’m swimming in the water, I get the feeling of freedom. The water definitely represents freedom to me. I have no fear, I just go out there and swim.


TC: What is your favorite swimming stroke and why?

ML:  My favorite stroke would have to be freestyle, because it’s the easiest and the one I enjoy the most.


“I discovered Michelle Liu in a swimming class and noticed she had a beautiful technique,” said head swimming coach Steven Contarsy. I tried getting her to join the swimming team, but she kept saying no. For three months she rejected joining, but ultimately she decided to join. She has been a great asset to the team.”