FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Marisa Louisy, a Form 4 student of Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School, has her eyes set on the 2020 Tokyo and 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Louisy spoke to the VOICE recently about her swimming career which started eight years ago and her plans for accomplishing her goals.
Her favourite subject is Maths, she said, because “It allows me to think and reason, but I also study French, English, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Agricultural Science, Physical Education and Principal of Accounts.”
Louisy is a member of Seajays Swim Club and will be in action this weekend representing the club. She is hoping to impress the technical team of the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association at the Sea Jays/Capri Sun Trials to select Saint Lucia’s team for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Swimming Championship scheduled for Saint Lucia next month.
“I will be going all out to do personal bests in the 50-metre backstroke, 100-metre backstroke, 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre freestyle, 200-metre freestyle, 400-metre freestyle, 50-metre butterfly, 50-metre and 100-metre breaststroke and 200-metre individual medley,” she said.
Here’s some more of what she had to say about herself.
The VOICE: How did it all happen for you in swimming?
Marisa: While I was in pre-school, my mom and I went swimming once a week. But when I entered primary school, it became a challenge. So when I entered Grade 3, I decided to get back into swimming and from then I started doing competitive swimming at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
The VOICE: Who encouraged you to swim?
Marisa: My mom. She has been behind me from day one encouraging and supporting me at all my events — both locally and regionally.
The VOICE: Is anyone else in your family involved in swimming?
Marisa: Yes, my cousins.
The VOICE: What other sports have you participated in before, and why the switch?
Marisa: It’s not a sport, per se, but I was a dancer before. But swimming always dominated everything else and it became more exciting and I love the competitive edge while in the pool.
The VOICE: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport?
Marisa: Medalling at the Goodwill Games in 2016 (Saint Lucia) and (Guyana) 2017.
The VOICE: Your favourite local swimmer, regional and international, and why?
Marisa: I don’t have a favourite swimmer but Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin seem to stand out.
The VOICE: Who are your sports heroes and what do you admire most about them?
Marisa: I don’t have a sports hero, but I do admire persons who are persistent and determined, those who create healthy habits that increase their chances of reaching their goals.
The VOICE: What is your favourite event?
Marisa: The 100-metre backstroke. It’s not a sprint or long distance, so I am very comfortable with this stroke.
The VOICE: How do you prepare for a championship?
Marisa: Staying focused, training hard and using the right technique, as well as exercising and getting my 8 hours of sleep, eating properly and staying hydrated.
The VOICE: How many times have you represented Saint Lucia/your club?
Marisa: Ten times. The first time was at the 2014 Goodwill in Suriname and the last time was at the 2017 Guyana Goodwill Games where I performed well and did a few personal bests.
The VOICE: From where do you draw your inspiration?
Marisa: From God. I can do all things through Him because He strengthens me. Also from my mother because she is a great motivator.
The VOICE: How far would you like to go in representing Saint Lucia in swimming?
Marisa: For sure, the Olympics – hopefully, 2020 Tokyo or 2024 Paris — to represent my country and my people. That will be a great honor for me.
The VOICE: What do you do during your spare time?
Marisa: I study, watch Netflix and play with my dog, Fluffy.
The VOICE: Do you have a saying or a motto you live by?
Marisa: Yes, I do!! Stay focused on your goals despite how it may seem. Do not get distracted by anyone or thing. Listen to your coaches and parents and take their advice and always remember to be you.
The VOICE: What words of advice or encouragement do you have to share with younger athletes at the RHAC?
Marisa: Remember to keep your life as balanced as possible, making time for the things that matter most, such as family and friends.