Senior Alex Ladan got to compete in Finland for rhythmic gymnastics during her sophomore year.
According to Ladan, her coach wanted her team to experience international competition. Going to Finland was her first time competing outside the U.S. and she got to meet girls from all over the world.
“[Competing] was cool because all of the cultures were coming together and we all played the same sport and had the same passions,” Ladan said.
Nerves were higher than usual because her parents weren’t there, according to Ladan.
“I just had my coach and shared her with five other girls,” Ladan said. “I was used to getting ready at home and driving to my competition. But the whole process of flying there and then waking up the next morning and having to get ready without my parents was a different experience.”
Junior Nomun Saintur moved to Glenview after living in Mongolia for fifteen years. Last year, she was given the opportunity to represent team Mongolia at the World Junior Swimming Championship in Indianapolis, according to Saintur.
“It was so cool, it was my first time going as an international competitor representing team Mongolia,” Saintur said.
According to Saintur, she and her team were able to set several records for Mongolia. Nomun competed in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke.
“It was really an honor to be a part of it,” Saintur said. “Representing Team Mongolia and competing was fun, and also bonding with all of the other swimmers was really nice.”
Senior Matthew Jen has traveled all over the world for karate. According to Jen, he went to Croatia last year to compete.
“It was a new experience, I’ve never been to Europe or competed in Europe before,” Jen said. “There were a lot of kids and I had five matches, it was a tough tournament but was a lot of fun.”
Jen also got the opportunity to go to Latin America several times for the Pan American Championships. According to Jen, his best memories are from his time in Colombia.
“My favorite memory was in Colombia,” Jen said. “When you’re [a member of] the U.S. team you support everyone who is going. On the last day, there was team fighting and everyone was getting really excited and it was a lot of fun.”
Last year, senior Peter Pys spent several weeks training in Switzerland in order to prepare for the National Rowing Championships in Florida.
“It was surreal, I never expected to be on the National Team, so hearing the news [that I was going to be on it] was crazy and it went by really quickly, but looking back on it it was amazing,” Pys said.
According to Pys, although it was a tough competition, he was still able to have fun with the teammates.
“After all the racing was done, and even though we didn’t do as well as we had hoped, it was so much fun to hang out with the guys I had trained with for so long.”