Record-setting Kalani Swimmer Likes Community Service

Kalani senior Anson Tam is looking for the ideal finish to his prep swimming career. With that in mind, he took a huge step in that direction recently with his performance at the 2014 OIA East swimming and diving championships, setting records en route to winning both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly with times of 21.87 and

52.30 seconds, respectively.

Tam also collaborated with teammates Shawn Fujii, DongJin Hwang and Michael Sakai to help Kalani capture the 200-yard medley relay as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay. The foursome posted a time of 3:26.12 in the 400, and were clocked at 1:44.89 in the 200.

No small feat for one who considered swimming more of a recreational outlet at the beginning. “When I first started swimming at 7, it seemed like an activity to help keep fit,” said Tam. “In those early days, I didn’t look at myself as a competitive swimmer, but I really enjoyed it. It’s the only sport I’ve done ever since.”

Next up, Tam is preparing for the 2014 OC16 Swimming and Diving Championships, which will are Feb. 14-15 at Kamehameha Schools.

Tam recently took some time away from the pool to visit with MidWeek‘s East Oahu Islander.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect of your involvement with competitive swimming? Most definitely it’s been the bonds and friendships I’ve built, and being able to balance my school work, my social life and my swimming.

What areas of swimming did you focus on during the off-season and on your own time? We’re encouraged to be good in all four of our strokes. I work equally on all of them. The one I like to focus on would be the butterfly.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My father (Richard) because he’s always guided me through everything. He’s always made sure I was doing all right, and he’s always encouraged me to do what’s best for me.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? It keeps me up-to-date with swimming news and what’s going on in the swimming community.

What is your least favorite household chore? Taking out the trash. It’s never been appealing.

What movie could you watch over and over? Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I like the story and the plot — how he goes from being poor to being one of the lucky chosen ones.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? Other than our everyday training, we’re all trained to be mentally prepared and not psych ourselves out.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? I like Jay Sean and Bruno Mars. I also like Journey.

How do you like to spend your free time away from the classroom and the swimming pool? I like to go hiking on the weekends. I also volunteer at Kahala Nui, and I’m doing an internship at Kapiolani Medical Center.

Given the chance, what celebrity would you most like to meet? The late Albert Einstein. I’d like to talk to him and have him share some of his knowledge with me.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Ice cream. I love mint chocolate chip.