University of Michigan

Student Spotlight

Name: Siobhan Haughey

Current Class (Expected Graduation Year): Freshman (2019)

Expected Major: Psychology

Home state/country: Hong Kong, China

Why did you originally decide to come to the University of Michigan?

I was interested in studying in the U.S. and started doing some research on potential schools. One of the former swimmers here told me about Michigan and gave the coaches my email address. We started talking and they gave me a lot of information about Michigan and I discovered I really like it here. I had the opportunity to Skype with the team, and after having that Skype call, I felt like I fit really well with them and I committed that same day.

Which sport do you participate in and how did you become interested in it?

My parents loved swimming, and we lived in a building with a swimming pool. On the weekends, my parents would bring me and my older sister to the pool to teach us to swim. It came to the point where they couldn’t teach my sister anything more because she wouldn’t listen to them, so they brought her to a swimming club close by. When I was about five years old, my parents thought I should follow in my sister’s steps and start swimming lessons. From there, I just kept swimming!

What is your current training schedule like?

On a typical day, I wake up at 5:15 a.m. and have morning practice from 6-8 a.m. After morning training, I usually have classes at 8:30 or 9, so I’ll go straight from practice to class. After that, I’ll try to make it home for lunch, then back to classes. My second training is from 3:45-4:30 p.m., which we’ll do spin or core and shoulder exercise, followed by a two-hour swim practice. After that, I go home, have dinner, and do homework. Around 10:30 or 11 p.m., I’ll go to bed.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to play the piano. When I was in Hong Kong I played the piano every day. Playing the piano is a way for me to relax, to get away from studying and swimming. There are some pianos in the dorms, so I try to play at least once a week.

What does being an Olympic athlete mean to you?

It’s really exciting. It still hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going to the Olympics. I’m still not used to people referring to me as “an Olympian.” Sometimes it scares me a bit because I worked really hard to qualify and I really hope to do well. If I don’t, I have to wait another four years before the next Olympics. That can be a scary thought. Not everyone gets the opportunity to race on the biggest sporting stage in the world, and I’m really looking forward to having that experience.

What plans do you have beyond the 2016 Olympics?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if I will want to try for the next Olympics or not— -- it will depend on how I perform at this Olympics. I know I will be swimming throughout my four years at college, but outside of that, I’m not sure yet.

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