Greek swimming champion Andreas Vazaios recently won the men’s 200 meter individual medley (IM) for the professional swimming team DC Trident in front of its home-state crowd in Maryland — and in doing so, he set a new Greek national record.
Vazaios’ time was 1:52.95, which also represents a lowering of his own national record. The Greek swimmer bested such athletes as Chase Kalisz, Josh Prenot, and Ian Finnerty, among other elite swimmers, at the meet.
On being a part of the DC Trident team in the first year of the International Swimming League (ISL), the Greek athlete tells us, “I really like the atmosphere, and the ISL brings more excitement than some of the other swimming events. I am glad that I am a part of this new era in the sport. The ISL brings in more spectators and more broadcasting to swimming.”
Addressing a few words to young and aspiring swimmers, Vazaios encourages them to persevere, saying “Keep trying and love the sport. Try hard and be persistent. There are going to be ups and downs. Trust in the process and trust in yourself, that way you can be better in the future. Just be patient and have faith.”
Affectionately known as the “Underwater Greek Freak,” Vazaios also spoke about his feelings for the Greek-American community. “I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, and we have a big Greek community, and it feels like family,” he says.
“I think it’s really great when you meet Greeks here in the United States. They make you feel comfortable, safer and like family. You feel that extra support from the Greek-American community. I feel the Greeks here in America are more patriotic than others,” he acknowledges.
Regarding his definition of the word “success,” the professional athlete explains, “To me, success means a lot of things. It’s not just about winning medals or breaking records. Success is how you balance the failures and coming back after having a really bad race.
“Personally, for me, success was the fact that I was able to balance being a student-athlete the past three years, and being able to maintain a 4.0 GPA while making the national team and the Olympics, and also, being active in the community,” he relates with pride.
“The past three years helped me build character and be proud of myself and what I do,” the Greek immigrant concludes.
To learn more about Greek athlete Andreas Vazaios and keep track of all his achievements in the world of professional swimming, fans can follow him on Instagram.