Oct. 5, 2007
Heading into her final season with the California women's swimming program, senior Emily Silver reflects on her time at Cal and discusses the possibilities of being an Olympian. Last season, Silver set school record in the 50 free (21.99) at the 2007 NCAAs, breaking Natalie Coughlin's record of 22.01 set in 2003. She is a National Champion and an American record holder in the 400-free, 800-free and 400-medley relays.
CalBears.com: How do you feel about this being your final year at Cal?
Emily Silver: [Heading into my senior year] I didn't expect to be so emotional about it. But when I sit and think about it, I want to give everything I have each practice - everything in the weight room, everything to this team - I want to give as much as I can because I know this is the last year. I think its something really special [because] you will never have this [kind of team camaraderie] again in your life. I spoke about that at our team retreat [held in Lake Tahoe]. I told the team to take advantage of every opportunity because it goes so fast, and this would be the last time you will ever be a part of something like this the rest of your life.
CalBears.com: What have you learned about yourself during your time at Cal?
Silver: There are so many things I've learned about myself - and I've changed so much. It's the little things, like learning how to be on time, being organized, having structure in my life and learning how to balance swimming, training, school and having a social life. And I've not only learned so much from the swimming, but from my coaches and my teammates.
CalBears.com: What is so special about your time with Cal swimming?
Silver: When you are a part of something special, when you are a part of a team that has worked together, sweat together, pushed each other every single day in the pool, it creates a bond between you and your teammates that you will never be able to find anywhere else. It is bittersweet [to move on]. It's really sad to think that this will be the last year to be able to be a part of this.
CalBears.com: Knowing that this is your last year, and knowing all of the success you had last year, is it possible to go out on an even higher note?
Silver: I hope to. Every year that I've been here, I've improved. I think coming into this year I won't put pressure on myself to be better, rather I will just try to push myself harder -- and I thing there is a difference between the two. I want to be able to win, to learn about myself and take advantage of every opportunity that is given to me by my coaches, training with my teammates and working with the trainers - whatever can help me achieve my goals, and anything I can do to be a better athlete.
CalBears.com: Who is your best friend on the team?
Silver: I would have to say the closest person that I'm with on the team is Kelly Stravers. We were freshman roommates, and we actually weren't that close that year, but we grew a lot closer. She is one of the most loyal friends I've ever met and I know that she would always be there for me.
CalBears: What's next for you after Cal?
Silver: Well after the NCAAs I will keep training until the 2008 Olympic trials. Hopefully I can make the Olypmic team and go to Beijing. I want to keep building on what I've learned here -- building on the success I've had and continuing to push my self harder.
CalBears.com: What would it mean to be an Olympian?
Silver: I've been a part of a few National teams, and being able to represent the United States is a really cool feeling. Most people don't ever get that opportunity. Having your name on a cap that says USA is pretty special. I think it is something that I would carry for the rest of my life.
CalBears.com: How do you want to be remembered during your time at Cal?
Silver: I just want to be remembered as someone who was a good leader on the team and set a good example for everyone -- someone who worked hard and pushed teammates to work harder everyday.