Local swimmer sets her sights on 2016 Olympic medal

Alana Skocdopole

Alana Skocdopole

Alana Skocdopole’s name is quite familiar for the followers of athletic activities in Stettler area.

Aside from being successful in her studies, Alana has been frequently heard of with her medals won either in track and field events or swim meets.

But now she appears to have set her sights on an Olympic medal, which she hopes to compete for in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

A well-rounded athlete, Alana says she will be switching schools this semester to continue her studies in Red Deer just because her swimming club there offers many more opportunities for advancement than she could ever get in Stettler.

Already spending at least 20 hours in the swimming pool every week, Alana says she has reasons to prefer practising in Red Deer.

“I do all my workouts alone in Stettler, it is much more motivating to have coach and teammates there,” she says.

Although she has the support and understanding of not only her parents, but also of the administration of the Wm. E Hay High School, who allow her to leave classes early to go to her practices, Alana says changing schools is a necessary move to advance in her swimming career.

Excelling in butterfly, with breaststroke her second most favorite style, Alana has already achieved good enough seniors’ times to allow her to compete with swimmers of older age groups.

“I got senior national times in all three butterfly events, 50m. 100m. and 200m.,” she says.

With so much athletic activity keeping her busy, Alana says she hasn’t thought about what kind of degree she will be pursuing in university.

“All I know is that I want to go to university but I also want to swim and run as long as I can.”

A middle distance runner on the track and a sprinter in the pool with a lot of competitions in individual medley events, Alana appears to have set her immediate, medium and long range targets in her swimming career even though she has not thought so much about an academic pursuit.

The most immediate objective for Alana is to make it to team Alberta for this summer’s Western Canada Games and she will be taking part in the tryouts for that in the third week of February.

Then comes the goal of making it to the 2012 Olympic trials although it is highly unlikely that she will make it to the Olympic team next year.

“But it will be good to test my ability,” she says of the 2012 trials.

And the long range objective is to bring an Olympic medal to the family and community.

With so much determination and effort, there is no reason why Alana should not succeed in realizing that dream.