Profiles on stand-out female athletes: Emma Chan

Yesh Nikam, Contributing Writer

This past month, the Middle Division (MD) swimming season came to an end, and Emma Chan (8) broke the previous record for the second best time in the 50-yard backstroke. She received high praise from coaches and teammates for her achievements.

“Emma is always positive and has a tremendous work ethic,” MD swim team coach Caroline Surhoff said. Chan also has a smooth and efficient swimming technique, she said.

Chan’s teammate, Yui Hasegawa (8), thought Chan’s prior competitive swim training and her hard-work makes her a strong swimmer, she said.

MD Swim Team coach Michael Duffy felt that Chan played a big role in a very successful middle division swim season, he said.

Chan personally felt the swim season was successful for her, she said. “I was able to beat some of my personal times, and I really enjoyed spending more time with people who I don’t usually talk to.”

Despite her success, Surhoff still thinks Chan has room for improvement. Over the season, she worked with Chan to perfect her favorite stroke, the backstroke. “I’ve recommended to her to work on her turns specifically,” Surhoff said.

Chan’s contributions extended outside of the pool. Hasegawa, who felt that her friendship with Chan grew over the season, felt Chan supported her throughout the season. “She supports me endlessly and is always cheering others on,” Hasegawa said.

Chan is also extremely respectful to teammates and coaches, Surhoff said.

Chan started swimming frequently when she was six and joined the JCC, she said.

Chan has always had a passion for swimming, she said. “I like this sport because it’s both a team sport and an individual sport,” Chan said. “You get to be on a team with other swimmers, but you are racing to beat your own time.”

Chan hopes to join Varsity Swim as a freshman next year. Surhoff has high hopes for Chan’s future as well. “I hope she is Ivy League champ in the 100 yard backstroke,” she said.