Swimmer Jace Ng remembers June shooting
When the infamous shooting occurred at Santa Monica College last June, Jace Ng had just moved to Santa Monica, and had not even considered competing for the SMC swim team.
Raised in Singapore, Ng shouldn’t have had to think about anything except getting good grades and chasing the girls around Santa Monica Beach.
But instead of hanging at the beach and meeting new friends, Ng found himself having to come to terms with one of the saddest phrases in the English language; latest school shooting.
“I was being a bit lazy that day. I was supposed to go see the counselor, because I had just enrolled, but I decided to go to California Chicken Café instead,” said Ng. “While I was there I saw the news, and I would have been there if I had not gone to get food.”
With their child only days into the new chapter of his life, as well as his father en route back to Singapore from Santa Monica, all Ng’s parents could do was hope their son was nowhere near the tragic string of events.
“For my parents there probably was some apprehension toward me continuing my studies at SMC. My father had just flown back the day before and when he landed, he heard the news at the airport,” said Ng. “But for me I’m not that bothered because this kind of thing is not isolated to SMC, it can happen anywhere. It just so happened to take place at SMC. I don’t think it should affect our studies.”
Since last June, Ng led the SMC swim team into the state championships, where he set two new state records in the 100-yard, and 200-yard breaststroke. Although California community college state records are nothing to scoff at, Ng has his sights set on a slightly loftier goal.
“If anything, I will at most try to swim in the 2016 Rio Olympics. That’s the furthest I would like to go, I would stop after that.” said Ng.
When Ng isn’t setting new state records, he spends his spare time cooling off at the local movie theater. Even with al the training that goes with such an accomplished swimming resume, Ng has managed to see almost all the Summer blockbusters.
“I saw X-Men [Days of Future Past], Spider-Man , Godzilla, but I think my favorite would be X-Men,” said Ng. “I’d say Godzilla was the worst of the three. I also saw Captain America [The Winter Soldier]. The next one I really want to see is A Million Ways to Die in the West, I like comedies.”
Although Jace can often be found taking in a movie, that's not the only way he spends his free time. “I recently got into scuba diving. I just completed open-water certification. I’m waiting for my advance training, and I will ultimately want to be a rescue diver. That’s my current hobby right now," said Ng. "I want to go to the blue hole in Beliz. I would also like to go cave diving.”