Athlete Spotlight: Megan Tam

Megan Tam’s ’17 athletic career started out like any other. Like the majority, she had the chance to try out a variety of sports. However, there was something to swimming that was unlike any other sport she had experience with. “I enjoy the feeling when I’m immersed in the water. It feels like I’m in another world, where everything is taken off my mind.” Not only does Tam find great amusement while in the pool, but she also dominates in it as well. She looks to continue to have the same success she’s had in the past in addition to taking a leadership role as one of Western Reserve Academy’s top swimmers.

Tam’s thirteen year career began in Hong Kong. She started to take swimming lessons as a four year-old, but she didn’t get serious about the sport until she was nine when she began intense training. This served as the foundation for her future successes as her first coach became her greatest mentor. She embraced the aspect of “tough love” as she said,  “He was very tough on me, but not only had he pushed me through my swim career, but he had also taught me valuable life lessons. He constantly encouraged me to put in everything I have to make all my goals achievable. Without his constant support, I would not have developed into the person I am today.”

Under her coach’s guidance, Tam developed her skills as a swimmer and was later selected for the Hong Kong Regional Squad in the middle of her freshman year of high school. In 2014, she qualified for the Youth Olympic Games for the 200 meter Butterfly B standard, which still stands as one of her biggest swimming accomplishments.

Before coming to America, Tam put education as a priority. “I have always wanted to study in America because of the academic flexibility,” she stated. But in her search for preparatory schools, she also took swimming into account in addition to a “rigorous academic program.” Once arriving at WRA, there was something about the swim team that stood out to her. “When I came to Reserve, I was impressed by all the swimmers. No matter if they have only participated in 1 season or have started to swim since they were a kid, every swimmer put in a lot of work and effort to improve their skills and techniques every day,” Tam said. Despite the varying levels of talent among the team, Tam was still motivated by her teammates to work hard at her craft. That lead her to break the 25-year record in the 100 meter Butterfly as well as the 200 Medley Relay record along with Elizabeth Downing ’17, Katie Weinzierl  ’17, and Libby Russ ’18.

Following her senior season, Tam hopes to major in graphic design in addition to continuing her swimming career. Although she has not committed to a school yet, there will surely be plenty of options throughout each division. Before that, Tam will be looking to end her high school career with a boom. “I’ll be striving for another fantastic meet at Easterns (Swimming and Diving Championships in Pennsylvania), and hopefully some more new personal and relay records!”

-Steven Yang ’19

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