By Sharon Robb
MIAMI, July 25, 2022–Niccolo Miccolis is seeing his hard work and dedication pay off.

At 9, Miccolis was one of the youngest swimmers to make his Junior Olympics cut in the 50-meter freestyle during the BB Championships.

Miccolis, who trains with SOFLO age group coach Chloe Hampson, recently moved up from the Bull Sharks to Blue Sharks.

“He is a very hard worker,” Hampson said. “Basically, he is ready for practice early, he shows up to practices and he is always there and very focused.

“I give him a workout, I write the set and I decide the focus and he goes and does it. He will ask questions at practice. He is very focused for a 9-year-old and I have worked with a lot of 9-year-olds. I was one myself.”

Three weeks ago Miccolis got his JO cut at BB Championships and competed the next week at JOs.

“He was so excited at his first JOs,” Hampson said. “He came in, had a new JOs shirt and walked in all confident.”

At JOs, Miccolis finished 21st in the 10-and-under 50-meter freestyle in 36.29. His best time is 34.87. He also swam anchor leg on the second place 200-meter medley relay with teammates Michael Barber, Toma Petkov and Ethan Phan and swam anchor on the 200-meter freestyle relay with Barber, Luis Escobar and Gabriel Ferrer.

Miccolis, 9, is a fourth grader in the Magnet Program at George Washington Carver Elementary School in international studies. His older sister Didia, 11, swims with the Makos and his little brother Leone is taking lessons.

“I am more competitive at practice than my sister but in races she does a little better,” said Miccolis, who has been swimming since he was 2 and started competitive swimming at 8.

“I like competitive swimming and I’m really good at it,” he said. “I like being in the water. I have to keep on training so I can be good. It’s fun. Coach Chloe makes me improve.”

His mom Laura said he loves to stay busy. Swimming has helped him with time management.

“Swimming gives me something to do instead of just sitting on the couch,” Miccolis said. “I like to be organized. I like to have a good schedule. I don’t think I have too much free time with swimming and school.”

His favorite stroke is freestyle.

“I like it a lot,” he said. “I got my first JO in the freestyle. I liked being at JOs because I was one of the youngest swimmers. It was a good experience for me. It was my biggest meet. This has been my best season so far.”

Miccolis played soccer during the winter season and loves skateboarding. He is training to be a certified scuba diver when he turns 10 so he can dive with his sister who is already certified. He likes to collect foreign money. He loves school and his favorite subjects are math and social studies. His favorite swimmer is Caeleb Dressel. He trains close to home at Westminster Christian School’s pool.

“It’s perfect for us because they are all swimming at different times and my husband (Fabio) and I are going back and forth from school and practice,” Laura Miccolis said.

“I am so happy all my kids are swimming,” she said. “I started them early when they were little because I wanted them to be ready in case they fell in a pool. We started them with AquaKids and kept going. We like this environment. We never thought we could start competitive swimming. It keeps them busy and focused. It helps them to be organized and manage their time.

“Niccolo and Didia put a lot of effort into it. Working hard in swimming makes them realize they get results. They put in the effort and it helps them to succeed and improve. We know they are working hard on the little things and these are the little steps that make them realize it is worth it to keep going and working hard to make new goals.”

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. Miccolis joins SOFLO swimmers Alex Golding (April), Guillermo Mantilla (March), Tristan Dons (February) and Hashan Ekanayake (January) as 2022 TYR Swimmers of the Month.

SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies. TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology.

Among its male-sponsored athletes are 2020 Olympians Michael Andrew, Tom Shields, Nic Fink, Townley Haas and Jordan Wilimovsky and other elite swimmers Matt Grevers, Maxime Rooney, Jacob Pebley and Ryan Lochte.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com