Viðtal við Sarah Blake Bateman
Mánudagur, 26. janúar 2009 16:58
Sarah Bateman has the dream life, sun-baked beaches in Florida, where the freshman swims for the University of Florida. She’s also an Olympian from a rather chillier climate, representing her mother’s native Iceland, where Sarah also has citizenship, at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She also went to high school in Florida, and offers some insight on what her long-term plans are in terms of where she’ll live.
SN: Tell us about Iceland -- what's it like, and what's the major industry?
Sarah: Iceland is a really unique country. Its major industries are fishing and geothermal energy. It is known for being an environmentally friendly country.
SN: Were you raised there -- what's the connection to Iceland?
Sarah: I was not raised in Iceland but I have spent a lot of my summers there. My mother is Icelandic and most of her family lives over there so we visit them a lot.
SN: Is global warming/climate change a real concern for Iceland?
Sarah: I'm not positive if it is a real concern for Iceland but I know that it is a current problem for the country.
SN: What was Beijing like for you as a competitor and what did you learn from the experience?
Sarah: Beijing was amazing; it was a dream come true being able to compete for Iceland. I learned a lot about how competitive and intense international competition can be.
SN: What is something you saw in China that made an impression upon you and what?
Sarah: When we were in China we were able to sight see outside of the village and the Chinese lifestyle made a huge impression on me. They lives are very different from ours, instead of driving everywhere most people ride around on bikes. It was really interesting to see all of the traffic around Beijing.
SN: If you went to the Olympics again, what is something you'd do differently?
Sarah: I would take it more seriously, I was swept away in most of the excitement of the Olympics while I was there and I didn't focus on my swim as much as I should have. Also, I would have liked to have watched some of the other competitions at the games.
SN: With all the talent at UF, are the Gator women close to contending for an NCAA title?
Sarah: I think that we have a chance, if not this year definitely next year. We are all really motivated but I think our biggest focus for this season is to win SEC's.
SN: What's a misperception about Iceland that most people have?
Sarah: That Iceland is all ice, its actually the opposite. They have really mild winters and most of the country is green.
SN: Where do you see yourself living and working when you graduate for UF?
Sarah: I have no idea, I still am not sure as to what I want to major in, but I know that I want to keep living in Florida.
SN: What has swimming taught you about yourself, and how much do you credit swimming with the opportunities to, through hard work and being so good at it, travel around the world and go to one of the U.S.'s premier universities?
Sarah: I am a super competitive person, and swimming has only made that more obvious. Swimming is the reason why I have been able to travel all around the world, and it has been an amazing experience. I would have come to UF even if I hadn't made it as a swimmer because I have always been a Gator fan. But, luckily I was given the opportunity to be a student-athlete here.