Sophomore swimmer aims for the Olympics

November 19, 2009 — by Emily Williams

Many athletes dream of the Olympics, of international glory and being the best in the world. But for sophomore swimmer Ian Burns the Olympics are more than a dream, they are a goal.

Burns first realized his goal of swimming in the Olympics five years ago when his dad decided to enroll him at the Santa Clara Swim Club. He quickly realized that he had found the sport for him as he became faster and faster.

“I really found that I had had talent, and I started swimming full time year round,” said Burns. “I just got better from there.”

When Burns was 12, he broke 11 Pacific region records. The pacific region includes all swim clubs in California and some in Nevada. In a short time he broke records in the 100 free, 200 free, 400 IM, 200 IM and 100 fly. Later he broke the records for the 200 free, 100 free and the 100 fly. That meet was one of his most memorable for him because he surprised everyone including himself with his performance.

“It’s the feeling that I get at the end of a race when you look up at the board,” said Burns, “and it has a No. 1 by your name.”

Currently, he swims for the national team at Santa Clara, specializing in butterfly and freestyle. He practices with his team more 20 hours a week, six days a week with morning practices.

His best events are the 100 and 200 freestyle and butterfly. Last year at CCS Ian Burns also proved himself in the 200 IM and the 4×100 freestyle relay. He, along with Adam Hinshaw (class of 2011), Ben Hinshaw and Matt Murray (both from class of 2009), broke the national and CCS records. Last August he went with his team to the Junior Nationals in Federal Way, Wash., where he broke his 4×200 relay split by 3 seconds.

The day after CCS, he broke 50 seconds in the 200 IM, a personal best and a long time goal. This December Burns is going to his first big meet in the 15-16 age group, Junior Nationals, in Columbus, Ohio.

His drive to win and passion for swimming draw him to his Olympic dream. Burns believes that this goal is realistic and he is lucky to have coaches who support that dream whole-heartedly.

“It’s just a great feeling that I have,” said Burns. “I love it so much that it makes me want to win every time.”

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