“Don’t let temporary feelings stop you from achieving your long-term goals”
Written by Gabby Pilgrim on July 22, 2021
Alex Sobers, one of Barbados’ finest swimmers and at the age of 22 he has qualified for the Barbados Olympic team not once, but twice during his swimming career! As I sat down with Alex, I wanted to learn more about his swimming journey and where it all began. At the age of four, Alex first started to swim and by the age of eight, he had competed in his first competition. But at such a young age, Alex admitted that he was really just swimming for fun and because it was something that he loved to do. However, by age 16 he realised that he was “pretty good at the sport”, as he put it lightheartedly and saw that the times that he was swimming were reachable for the Olympics. It was from there that he said to himself, that if he put in more work towards his craft, then his goal of swimming at the Olympics could be achieved, and it happened!
“It’s amazing how everything just fell into place”, Alex said as he described what it was like finding out he had made the Barbados Olympic team for the first time. It was 2016, and right after the Olympics, Alex would begin his college journey in Georgia, USA. During this time, Alex continued to train and do what he had to do, to become an even better swimmer and continue to create personal best times. When speaking to one of his new coaches, he told them that he wanted to make the Olympics again and his coach assured him that they would do everything in their power to get him to where he needs to be and become a world class swimmer, and so said so done! In 2020, Alex qualified for the Barbados Olympic team yet again!
Very few however, would have foreseen the COVID-19 virus taking over the way that it did, and this caused the 2020 Olympics to be postponed. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and Alex used this extra year to work on his craft, get stronger and become more aware of his swimming abilities. So far, he swam his personal best at 3 minutes and 53 seconds in the 400 metre freestyle and 1 minute and 48 seconds in the 200 metre free style. Alex will be swimming in both the 200 and 400 metre freestyle races at the Tokyo Olympics. With most things in life, there will be days that are not as great as others, and when performances may not be at their peak. It is during these times that Alex reminds himself that he is still human, so his body may not always perform the same way every day. By taking a positive yet logical approach to his “down days”, Alex is able to remind himself of how far he has come and how much he has accomplished during his swimming journey thus far. “There will be rough days, but don’t let temporary feelings distract you from your long-term goals”, this is one of the main mottos that Alex lives by, and by the looks of it, it is a motto that has gotten him through any challenging times that life may have thrown his way.
Throughout everything, Alex thanks his parents, his little brother, his uncle, coaches and many team mates in Barbados, George and Bostin for being there for him, continuously supporting him and pushing him to do his very best. Alex reminds himself that through it all, he just has to go out there and have fun. As he explained it, “I’ve swam so many 200 metre races before, so why am I so nervous for this one? I’m just going to enjoy it!”. I wish Alex the very best at the Tokyo Olympics and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him.