PEPPER PIKE, OH- In a recent episode of the YSN podcast, Orange High School swimmer Tomas Cakulev captivated listeners as he shared his inspiring story. From his early introduction to the sport to his unwavering dedication, Cakulev’s journey in swimming is one of triumph over adversity.
At the young age of ten, Cakulev was introduced to swimming by a friend who invited him to a practice at a local club. It was during these early experiences that Cakulev discovered the importance of bonding with teammates, both in and out of the pool. The camaraderie and competition formed the foundation of his love for the sport and ignited a competitive fire within him.
Cakulev’s competitive nature extends beyond the pool, as he strives for excellence in all aspects of his life. Whether it be academics or personal growth, his drive to compete and improve is ever-present. He finds motivation in beating his own records during practice, pushing himself to shave off precious seconds and continuously bettering his performance.
Despite encountering obstacles along the way, Cakulev’s determination remained unshaken. From challenging classes to inconsistent coaching, he navigated through adversity both in and out of the pool. These obstacles taught him the value of perseverance and instilled in him a sense of resilience that has carried him through his swimming career.
Throughout his competitive journey, Cakulev has developed a set of rituals to stay motivated before, during, and after events. He curates a playlist filled with his favorite songs, preferring a balanced tempo to keep himself focused yet not overly hyped. Before races, he dons his headphones, immersing himself in his own world while ensuring he stays warm to maintain peak performance. After races, Cakulev exemplifies great sportsmanship by congratulating his fellow swimmers and seeking feedback from his coach to identify areas for improvement.
Cakulev’s role models both inside and outside the pool include professional swimmers who have achieved great success. However, he also draws inspiration from his parents and his younger brother, who is making waves in his own swimming career. Their support and guidance have been instrumental in his development as an athlete.
One quote that resonates deeply with Cakulev is “if it is to be, it is up to me.” This motto serves as a reminder that he holds the power to shape his own destiny. It fuels his determination to push himself during practice, knowing that his hard work and dedication will lead to achieving his goals.
As a senior at Orange High School, Cakulev leaves a lasting impact on the swimming community, both as a talented athlete and a sportsman. His story serves as an inspiration to all aspiring swimmers, demonstrating the power of perseverance, camaraderie, and self-belief.