The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

99° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Born to swim

Robert Alcaraz/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Lindsay Seeman
Robert Alcaraz
Robert Alcaraz/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Lindsay Seeman

When 11-year-old Lindsay Seemann announced she was going to make the 2008 Olympic team in four years, she wasn’t stating it as a goal, but as a fact.

Four years later, Seemann was in Beijing, China, representing her home country, Canada, in the 2008 Olympic games.

“”When I was 11 and said that I was going to make the 2008 Olympic team, it was clearly ridiculous, stupid and naive to say, but I did it,”” said Seeman, who’s finishing up her freshman season as a Wildcat. “”Even right after I did it, I was like, ‘How the hell did I do that and why would I even think it was possible.'””

Seemann’s journey began with backyard swimming lessons that progressed into her joining a club team at the age of six.

After only five years of swimming competitively, Seemann’s passion and confidence in the sport was evident with her Olympics proclamation.

“”Even the year before, in the fall of (2007), I still said I was going to make the Olympic team in (2008),”” Seemann said. “”The only person I had told that to was my coach, and I had told him that I was going to make the 200 backstroke, the time I wanted, which was the “”A”” standard, and everything just panned out perfectly. At trials, I had a fantastic meet.””

Seemann’s future predictions came true, and at 15, she was the youngest swimmer on Canada’s team, racing in the 200 backstroke just like she had set out to do. After qualifying, she realized she needed to mature.

“”From there on out, things were crazy. My maturity level had to spike in three months,”” Seemann said. “”My whole mentality around swimming changed, because I was around all these older people for our team, who had gone through so much more than me and who had tried to make the Olympic team many more times than I had.””

Seemann may have been the youngest, but she wasn’t the only rookie, as there were first-timers ranging all the way up to age 28.  

Seemann and the team arrived in Beijing in early August and competed shortly after. Not only was she in a foreign country, she was also with coaches and swimmers foreign to her. Seemann remembers maintaining composure up until the final moments before she walked onto the deck to race.

“”I was calm that day until right before my event,”” Seemann said. “”The coaches were like, ‘Wow, your coach would be so proud of you and how calm you are.'””

However, they didn’t see her in the ready room.

“”I didn’t freak out until I walked into the ready room and I was by myself,”” Seemann said. “”From there on out, it was all my doing. I walked in there and looked around, and I had no idea of what I was supposed to do.””

Seemann endured her race, but she didn’t perform as well as she had hoped to, and after the Olympics, Seemann needed a break. By age 16, Seemann had already accomplished what many swimmers seek to work toward their entire careers, but unlike those swimmers, she wasn’t already focusing on the 2012 games. She had college on the brain.  

According to Seemann, not many American schools recruit internationally for swimming, so she took matters into her own hands. She had her eye on Arizona.

“”I knew some swimmers, I loved the program and I loved Frank (Busch),”” Seemann said. “”I really loved the program … so I contacted them.””

Head coach Frank Busch welcomed her into the program. However, not everything about her transition was easy. Seemann didn’t have health on her side at the beginning of the semester, as she was diagnosed with mono.

“”I thought I was out of shape for a long time, because I had taken a couple weeks off,”” Seemann said. “”I got diagnosed at the beginning of October, and I don’t think I started swimming until the beginning of November. There was a solid week I laid in my bed and didn’t move, I was sleeping like 16 hours a day and when I was awake, I would just lay there.””

Fast-forward to today, Seemann is healthy and continuing to improve. With the 2012 Olympics a year away, is Seemann up for round two?

“”Wow, 2012, you know what, it will be just as hard as the first time,”” Seemann said. “”People say you’ve done it once, you can do it again, but it’s hard every single time.””

More to Discover
Activate Search