Nicholas Ivan Radovan is a 17 years old swimmer who’s part of the Philippine Killerwhale team and also a part of the BEST elite program. But, before becoming a Killer Whale, Ivan was first part of another team and even experienced competing against our team in different swim meets.
Ivan, together with his older brother, are originally from Lucban, and at some point have decided to come to Lucena City to further improve their swimming skills, and to officially become a part of the Killerwhale team.
Whilst we were having the interview with Ivan, we discovered that his “kuya” is his biggest inspiration in life. He expressed his admiration towards his brother because of the hard work and perseverance that he has in life.
They left their hometown at an early age to achieve their goals in swimming. During his elementary days, he experienced to be a city distant away from his parents. When we asked if he ever felt homesick, he said;
“Hindi naman ako na homesick kasi simula grade 3 palang ako nag STCAA na ako kaya bata palang ako nasanay na ako na kahit di ko kasama ang pamilya ko, kinakaya ko mag isa.”
STCAA, now called RSC, is a government sanctioned regional games where all athletes gets to experience a live-in training setup. They will be away from school, family, and outside activities to focus more on their training.
In his 7 years in swimming, he shared the thing that keeps him motivated to push through and that is to playing in SEA Games one day.
Journeying toward his goal, Ivan named the 3 most memorable competitions he participated in;
He said that his competitions in Japan last 2018 was so memorable because it was his first time competing internationally. Surely, the very first international competition of a swimmer would always be at the top of the list.
2nd was the competition in France of our Elite swimmers recently this year, because he said that competing in Europe is a whole different experience. We can’t agree more!
And the 3rd was the Palarong Pambansa qualifying. With his years spent in swimming, he always wanted to experience Palarong Pambansa, and now he dominated the competition last June 5-7, 2022 and bagged 2 gold and 2 bronze medals.
When Ivan first came into the team, he was just a really young kid with the dream of being a good swimmer one day. If you look at him now, he’s now slowly starting to achieve this. In fact, he’s now one of the generals in the team who surely dominates every competition he participates in.
Ivan’s hard work is starting to pay off. His hard work and perseverance led him to being recognized by his hometown. Recently, he was awarded as the “Natatanging anak ng Lucban 2022” for bringing continuous recognition as an athlete to his hometown. Something that definitely to be proud of.
Ivan said that whenever he swims, he thinks of nothing and just give it and swim his best.
“Nalangoy lang ako. Sini-swim ko yung best ko”
Also, one of his teammate asked him what he likes more; To have a best time, or to have a medal? His response,
“Para sakin syempre mag best time. Para saan pa yung hardwork na ginawa mo sa training kung wala kang improvement? Bonus na sa akin yung magka medal. Ang mahalaga ay mag best time para malaman mo kung nag improve ka o hindi.”
On his road to improvement, it is only natural to experience bad swims. During the interview, he expressed his thoughts on this subject.
“Ang masabi ko (kasi) na bad swim ay pinagtuunan ko yung training, yung araw araw ako nag training, tapos (as a result) tumaas yung time ko. (Kapag nangyayari yun) mas nag focus ako sa training.”
He doesn’t let bad swim days get to him easily because he knows that it is part of the process to succeed. He always tries to figure out what seems to be going wrong and fix it.
Aside from his swimming career, Ivan is now in Senior High School, and studying at University of Santo Tomas as a varsity player.
It is no secret that juggling school and swimming together is hard. When asked how he handles both responsibilities he said;
“Nahihirapan ako minsan ihandle ang schoolworks. Minsan natutulog na ako ng madaling araw kasi ayoko parin bumagsak. Kahit pagod sa training gagawin ko pa din yung mga school works and projects ko.”
At a young age Ivan learned how to manage his time efficiently and makes sure that he’s doing what he needs to accomplish his priorities.
Being a student-athlete has never been an issue for him because he really loves what he is doing.
Now, we asked the question in which we ask everyone who undergoes this interview; what is swimming for you? He cheerfully stated,
“Swimming is life! Swimming is life kasi buong pagkatao ko (ay about sa swimming) simula bata pa. Kung walang swimming, wala normal na tao lang ako.“
He finds himself as someone special in swimming because he is contributing to give pride to our country through this sport.
Before the end of the interview he left an inspiring message for our younger swimmers;
“Pag sa competition di kayo nag medal wag nyo isipin na mahina kayo. Ang importante nag iimprove kayo, nag b-best time. Hayaan nyo yung ibang swimmers na sinasabing ang hina nyo, basta tuloy lang kayo sa training nyo tsaka mag focus.“
Swimming is now a big part of Ivan’s life. He started with the team as a cute little kid but now he’s one of the greatest butterflyer that the team have.
Because of his consistency and his positive mindset, he is now getting closer to his dreams.
Congratulations Ivan on all your accomplishments in swimming! Keep grinding and be humble no matter what happens. The Killer Whale family believes you can reach your goals! We’ll be here cheering for you and supporting you all the way.