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17-year-old American Samoa swimmer: A New Year's resolution

Tilali Scanlan 17-year-old of Vaitogi feels honored and proud to have represented American Samoa earlier this month at the FINA World Swimming Championship in Ontario, Canada.  [Courtesy photo]

With the New Year coming up, Tilali Scanlan, a 17-year-old from Vaitogi, plans an everyday resolution for the New Year — that is to enter the next World’s Swimming Competition in Budapest, Hungary.

Tilali, who is a lifeguard for the American Samoa Aquatic Agency, went to Canada this month for the FINA World Swimming Competition, which is a bi-annual event that has grown dramatically over the past 23 years. The 13th edition of these Championships to be staged in Windsor attracted almost 1,000 of the world’s best swimmers from more than 172 countries for 6 days of intense competition in a unique theatrical setting at the WFCU Center.

She was the only swimmer to represent American Samoa in Windsor, Canada, for over those 6 days competed for 46 gold medals with other global stars of the pool.

Tilali told Samoa News, “I felt really honored to represent our country but I didn’t place high up there, anywhere noticeable, it was the world champs after all, but my times were personal bests and local national records.”

Swim trainings are a little hard for Tilali, and she shared having to be the only swimmer from this island was very hard. She felt lonely having no coaches or a proper pool to train in but she overcame it by continuing to stay positive and doing her own personal trainings in the ocean or at the Tradewinds Hotel swimming pool.

Tilali believes more in everyday resolutions — not just waiting for the new year; and she hopes for the youth of American Samoa to make an everyday resolution to stay active and to not give up even if you’re the only person in your sport.

“It is not an easy thing but I make everyday resolutions and I believe you shouldn’t wait for Dec 31st to make a change personally or physically.”

Our American Samoa swimmer is aiming to continue training everyday so she can achieve her resolution of being a better swimmer to attend next year’s World’s Swimming Competition in Budapest, Hungary and have the honor and pride to represent American Samoa her home.