Freshman Roshi Turner has been swimming since he was 7 years old. His parents encouraged him to try several sports, but it was swimming that ended up being his passion and where he’d spend the next several years perfecting his skills, which paid off this year when USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for swimming in the United States responsible for selecting members to compete at the Olympic Games, invited Roshi to take part in its National Diversity Select Camp in Colorado Springs, CO.
The camp, which took place May 5-8 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, was created to empower athletes from diverse backgrounds and under-represented populations. Student athletes attend various workouts, trainings, and conversation sessions led by decorated individuals within the sport.
We sat down with Roshi to learn about his experience at the Olympic training facility and how this experience will shape him for years to come.
Q: How did you become involved in swimming?
A: My dad tried placing me in all sports: football, basketball, baseball... but my mom thought it would be good for me to learn how to swim. Plus, I loved being in the ocean when we went to Los Angeles all the time.
Q: Did you imagine swimming would take you this far?
A: Not at first, but I was instilled with a good work ethic, so I knew that would take me far in whatever sport or whatever I decided to do.
Q: What was the process for joining the USA Swimming Camp?
A: I was fortunate to be invited and attend the USA Regional Select Camp. I learned of [The National Diversity Select Camp] through the regional camp. In this camp process, you needed to have some of the fastest long course meter times in the country in your primary stroke [to qualify].
Q: Tell me about your time at the National Diversity Select Camp?
A: It was exciting to meet all the diverse swimmers from all different backgrounds that had similar accomplishments. It was very informative in learning about Team USA and the things they do there at the training facility.
Q: How was training compared to what you normally do?
A: Well, this was much different than my typical training day. This was more of a camp environment where we had very long days. We trained twice a day in the pool in the altitude, did a lot of team building exercises, and listened to guest speakers.
Q: Will there be an opportunity for you to attend next year?
A: I don’t think so, there is an age requirement. Plus, since I attended this time, I believe you can only attend one time. So, it is a once in a lifetime deal.
Q: What will this opportunity do for your swim career?
A: I just know I must continue working hard to achieve my goals, but this experience prepared me to continue working towards the USA National team.
Q: What are your hopes for your future swim career?
A: Next up is swimming in college, of course, and I have goals to compete at the Olympic Games.
Q: Why do you love swimming?
A: Because of the friendships that I have built over the years and the love I have for competing.
Roshi’s father, Roby Turner, says he is very excited and proud of his son. “We’re probably more excited for him than he is, I’m sure,” said Mr. Turner. “Only because as a parent, regardless of big or small achievements and accomplishments, they should be celebrated. These are lifetime opportunities that don’t come often, but as parents, and like Roshi feels, we are very honored and humbled by these experiences in life for him.”
Catholic Central wishes Roshi continued success in his swimming endeavors and looks forward to watching him compete on the varsity swim team next season.