Just Keep Swimming: Madison Kim reflects on her swimming career

Alyssa Lusk, Copy Editor

Trekking to practices before the sun has risen, senior Madison Kim dives into the water at 5 a.m., an hour at which most students are sound asleep. The smell of chlorine is all too familiar to her as she was introduced to the sport at three years old; the pool is like a second home for Kim. 

“When I moved into my neighborhood, my mom got a pass to the community pool and I joined the summer team there,” Kim said. “I fell in love with the atmosphere and the grind. I just loved the feeling of being in the water and pushing myself.”

On top of juggling a heavy course load of AP classes, responsibilities at home and other clubs and activities, Kim averages at least 15 hours of practice a week.

“My day starts at 4:15 a.m. when I wake up and eat a small breakfast. I practice from 5 a.m. to 6:40 a.m. and leave early to head to school,” Kim said. “Sometimes I have additional practices, so I end up practicing twice a day.”

With practices for her club team in the morning and practices for the school team in the afternoon, Kim’s management of her hectic practice schedule is admired by peers and teachers alike.

“I can barely manage to get up at 7:30 a.m. for school, while Madison has been waking up for the majority of her life to plunge into an ice-cold pool and endure through grueling practices,” senior and lifelong friend of Kim, Dahin Song, said. “She has many responsibilities and misses a lot of school and social hangouts for swim meets, but she still manages to develop a life for herself and stay sane.”

Kim’s work ethic is applicable to the classroom environment as well, and she works hard to maintain her grades in high-level classes. 

“She is very focused and industrious,” English teacher and former swim sponsor, Jennifer Dean, said. “She has personal goals that she sets in place, and she is very inwardly motivated; that came through in her school work.”

Since the beginning of her high school swim career, Kim has broken both school and state records. 

“I helped set two relay records; [my team and I] broke the school record for the 200 freestyle relay with four people in it my freshman year,” Kim said. “That year we won and broke the state record for the 400 relay, which is four people swimming the length of the pool.” 

Breaking records requires dedication, and Kim’s commitment to the sport has been recognized and praised by many who witness the time she spends in the pool. 

“It would be an understatement to say that Madison has a lot on her plate,” Song said. “She never gives in to her struggle and always stays on top of things. It’s impressive.”

Swim has provided Kim with many opportunities, such as continuing her athletic career in college.  

“In September, I went on an official visit to Boston University and got to meet the team and tour the whole campus,” Kim said. “I kept in contact with the coach, updating him on my times and academic information, and then I verbally committed in November.”

Swim is heavily woven into Kim’s everyday routine and despite the daily grind, Kim’s love for the sport persists. 

“I just love the community swim has given me and the feeling of swimming in the pool,” Kim said. “When I’m swimming, I just forget about everything else.


Despite her strongest stroke being freestyle, varsity swimmer Madison Kim is a versatile athlete and competes in the backstroke race during a swim meet.