terça-feira, maio 11, 2010

Randall Bal Interview by Beba Água

Hi Randall, how are you?
I am doing great! – Thank you for your time and for the interview.
This is the 3rd edition of the Coimbra International Meeting, and your 3rd presence here, but this isn’t (for sure) just another visit/meeting. You’re living in Coimbra and this is you 1st time like an AAC swimmer. Great to notice!
Yes indeed, it has been an exciting year for me and I am thrilled to share the experience with the team and be part of the team. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the program. It is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. There has been so many things that I have learned from my experience living here in Portugal. The language is coming along but at a slower pace than I would like but I will eventually pick it up :)
How can this be possible? A top American professional swimmer based in Italy for the last years, which moves to Coimbra to represent an historic academic association… Are you thrilled about this new experience?
Yes, I am very excited. I think that one of the most important things in sports is to have fun. Like the old adage is said in English, Work Hard & Play Hard. – It is inevitable, when you are having fun, gaining exposure to new countries, traditions and training habits, this is when you are at your peak. If you think about it, how often will you find someone at their best when they are miserable? – My performance has been going well for me over the past several years. I attribute a lot of my success to training smart, eating well, working with great athletes that I can inspire and be inspired by and most importantly have fun.
You’re registered in the Coimbra University? Studying what? Attending to (any) classes? :)
Yes, I am in scripted in Faculdade de Letras of Coimbra's University attending/learning Portuguese for foreign people. I am having a blast! – Although I am not the best in the class, as I continue to “invent” new words, I am certainly learning new words. – It is always amazing when you come to a new country the words you learn to speak first. – Although, I won’t mention them in this interview :) - I will tell you that I have already learned enough to order food, speak the basics and to elaborate a lot more on events and things than I could last year :) - I find that knowing a bit of Spanish and Italian has helped me learn the language though.
What are your main goals with this move to Coimbra & AAC? Will you be in Coimbra till 2012? Your road is just something like 2010 Pan-Pac’s; 2011 Worlds; 2012 Olympics?
Some of my main goals are to work close together with the team. I get the greatest amount of gratification giving back to the sport. It is a honor and privilege for me to be at the top of the world in the sport and feel that I have taken so much from the sport that it is important to give back. Some of the ways I give back to the sport are by giving clinics, in the water direction/coaching and of course share my life experience of how I have dealt with adversities in life and how young kids can do the same. – My success has come over the years from learning everything I can about the sport, hanging out with good quality people, learning from other successful sport figures, and asking a lot of questions. In addition to giving back to the sport, I will swim with Portugal and AAC this year and anticipate the years moving forward. Currently the main goals are to participate in the Pan Pac’s and then obviously the World Championships and of course the Olympics.
… and the goals for this Meeting?
The goals for the meeting are to improve on my times and see where I am at at this point in my training. I have not competed as much as I would have liked this year hence feel that the meeting with give me a gauge on where I am at regarding my training. It will help me like a compass would to depict rather or not I need more distance training, sprint work, or gym work. Depending on my races & times, there is a possibility I will be participating in a few relays with the team. – So when it comes straight down to it, one of my main goals are to swim fast, have fun, and encourage all the young swimmers to do the same. This is what sport is all about!
… and the rest of the season here in Portugal: Will you compete in Summer Nationals? Any other competition before?
I have a few competitions lined up between now and summer Nationals. At this point, I have not laid out my full swim schedule (it is currently being worked on) however I can tell you that I look to participate in a few competitions here in Portugal, within Europe, and then make my way to Summer Nationals held in the USA on August.
And the foreign Meetings: Will you continue to compete in the most important Meets all over Europe?
I am looking to participate in a few competitions held in Europe. The first will be in France in June called the OpenEdf, and of course the mare nostrums. – There are a few others I am taking a look at too however I am still undecided if I will do them or not. It will all depend on my training and performance from the competitions above.
The American Trials for the Pan-Pac’s, is your main goal for this season?
If you want to break it down from season to season, you are correct. The American Trials are the highest priority currently. Due to the fact that American Trials are one of the toughest and hardest trials to race at, it is important to be at your highest level going into the competition. – Many times, it is at the American Trials that times and World Records are even broken. Even though it is extremely competitive, the competition is a selection period for both Pan Pac’s and World championships.
After 2 crazy years with the poly-suits, are you ok with this new FINA restriction? Do you agree with this step?
Yes, I am excited to have the suits back to a level playing field. Sure, one can argue that suits were good for the sport and a wave of technological advances in the sport. However these past few years, swimming has been to the extremely. I mean, swimmers records that have lasted for years were broken by almost every finalist. So many good names and the history behind the names and records were washed off the records books. – I truly feel that the advances in the suits were more of an impact for a swimmer rather than the hard work that they used to put in the pool. I have had friends that came out of retirement, just to see if they could out-perform there previous times, which they did. – It is crazy when you can start swimming after taking two years off of the sport and immediately break your best times before.
What changed in your training?
I have been working on more technique and aerobic training this year. I am going to begin lifting harder and spend more time in the gym with the upcoming months leading up to Pan Pacs.
Do you think that is possible to beat your personal records this season? Ever? (24.33 / 52.59 LC; 22.87 / 49.79 SC)
Anything is possible. The goal is to exceed the times that I have already done. Most of these records above were in suits that were not Polyurethane :) - Time will tell :)
In Portugal competitions, will you swim “team-events” like 50/100 free or other? I know that you can swim 50 in 22s and 100 in 49s...
Perhaps :) - I am thinking of swimming the 50 freestyle, possibly the 100 freestyle. I used to be a decent freestyler however took a step away from swimming freestyle when my shoulder was in Pain. Over the course of the past few months my shoulder has healed a bit. I always enjoy mixing up the strokes. Hopefully, you will see me swim at least the 50 freestyle at the competition and possibly the 100 on a relay.
Have a great Meet!!! And enjoy Coimbra & Portugal… Bye-Bye
Thanks for doing the interview. I truly appreciate the support and the time you have given me.

- Site Associação Académica de Coimbra
- Site Meeting Cidade de Coimbra
- Regulamento do III Meeting Cidade de Coimbra (inclui Recordes do Meeting)
- Presenças Estrangeiras no III Meeting Cidade de Coimbra



Anonymous Anónimo said...

welcome randall
BA, vais ter a transmissão do meeting?

terça-feira, maio 11, 2010 11:29:00 da manhã  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

agora vão ser ser só toucas da AAC a voar
umas com autografos nas mãos dos adversários
e dos nadadores da AAC dentro de água :)

terça-feira, maio 11, 2010 11:44:00 da manhã  
Anonymous Anónimo said...


terça-feira, maio 11, 2010 1:46:00 da tarde  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

O que se passa no CFV? Agr foram os irmãos ribeiro a sairem do clube?

terça-feira, maio 11, 2010 9:30:00 da tarde  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Para não esQuecer que este grande nadador já bateu recordes do mundo. Parabéns randal , bem vindo a Portugal, e disto que a natação portuguesa precisa, atletas como tu vão fazer a diferença

quarta-feira, maio 12, 2010 7:43:00 da manhã  
Anonymous Anónimo said...


quarta-feira, maio 12, 2010 11:00:00 da manhã  

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