Springfield, MO– Word in the water is that there is a fish in the pool…nope its only Paul Le. Paul is a senior at Missouri State and is also the schools record holder for the 50 free, 100 back and 200 back for the men’s swimming team.
The head coach of the team, Dave Collins states that, “Paul probably out of anybody I’ve worked with has the most natural feel for the water that’s something as coaches we look for a lot is just how somebody moves through the water and he probably is one of the best at natural feel and ability in the water.”
Not only is Le an All American Swimmer for the Bears but he also had the opportunity to swim in the 2012 Olympics Trials, where he was originally seeded 93rd but then shot up to the 38th place in the 100-meter back.
“Once I was there it was a bit nerve racking because I have never been in such a big meet and swam with so many famous Olympians I guess” says Paul.
Instead of retrying for the USA team, Paul is now training in hopes to swim for Vietnam.
Le says, “My dad is very against it and my mom is for it…my dad cares about the politics like they are a communist country and America is not and my mom is just wanting me to pursue my dream of going to the Olympics and my dad just thinks like why would we seek refuge in America…. why would my family come over here when I want to represent that country…”
With school, family and other responsibilities that come with being a college swimmer, Le has to make sure his stamina is ready for the Olympics.
Paul states that, “It’s a completely different world when you swim for a meet like that because there is less turns you do in a race so I guess I don’t focus as much on turns but more endurance wise I focus on.”
Le still has to receive his dual citizenship for Vietnam in order to be considered for the Olympic team but once he does he is good to go.
Le says that it’s a whole other world swimming internationally and is excited to see what its like swimming out of the county.
At the trials in Omaha, Nebraska he swam the 100- meter back in 56.59 seconds. His best time he says is now 55.2 seconds. As long has Le gets 56 seconds in the meet in June at Singapore, he will then swim for the Vietnamese world championship team and then will head to the Olympics.