By Sharon Robb
June 22, 2015—Joseph Lee knows what it takes to be a good swimmer and is willing to do it.
“I like to work hard in practice, I am very competitive,” Lee said.
Lee, 12, a seventh grader at Silver Trail Middle School, has been swimming for six years. He followed in his brother Daniel’s footsteps.
“I went to all of his meets,” said the South Florida Aquatic Club age group swimmer. “I thought swimming was really interesting. It looked like a lot of fun to me.
“I knew how to swim and I knew all the basics just by watching my brother.”
Lee joined the Comets/South Florida Aquatic Club team and started honing his skills with the coaching staff.
“At the beginning I didn’t think of swimming as competitive,” Lee said. “I thought it would be fun to do. Once I got into the Asteroids and Meteorites something just clicked.
“I watched the older swimmers train really hard, go to meets and swim fast times. I decided then I wanted to go to the Olympics.”
Lee now trains with Coach Rose Lockie and the Bronze Group.
“He trains incredibly hard every day,” Lockie said. “He leads my group. He is also a great inspiration for the younger boys in my group.”
While Lee is focused on swimming, he also enjoys making friends in the sport.
“I was really happy I started swimming,” Lee said. “It’s a lot of fun because of my coaches and my friends.”
His best events are butterfly, breaststroke and individual medley.
“I just try to do the best that I can,” Lee said. “I set a goal then I set my mind to it. I work towards that goal and once I make it I create a new goal. I just train hard and hope for the best.
“Swimming gives me something to do. My coaches and friends actually help me go through the pain every single day of practice. They keep me moving and motivate me.”
Lee, who has both U.S. and South Korea citizenship, is training for the upcoming Florida Gold Coast meet at Nova Southeastern.
“I never thought I could go this far,” Lee said. “I watched the older swimmers put their whole life into swimming. I didn’t think I would be that kind of person but I am. I know I have to put in the work. I want to see how good I can get.”
Lee, the May Swimmer of the Month, joins April Swimmer of the Month Alana Acevedo, March Swimmer of the Month CJ Kopecki, February Swimmer of the Month Zackary Harris and January Swimmer of the Month Madison Johnson.
The SOFLO Swimmer of the Month award, chosen by the SOFLO coaching staff, is awarded each month to the swimmer who excels at both swim meets and practice sessions.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com