Chicago Maroon: How old were you when you started swimming?
Emily Hunt: I’ve been swimming since I was really, really small. But competitively, I started when I was eight or nine.
CM: Have you always specialized in the two strokes you do now, or were you competing in everything when you were younger?
EH: When you’re really young, you compete in everything. But from 12 onward, I’ve been doing butterfly and backstroke.
CM: You’re from Canada. Do you think that the middle school and high school level swimming community is different there, compared to here?
EH: For sure. I don’t know much about middle school. But high school, I know in Illinois, it’s very focused on the high school season. But in Canada, if you’re going to be swimming competitively, it’s all about swimming with a club. So, it’s definitely a different dynamic.
CM: What has the difference been, coming to college and being involved with the team here, in the U.S.?
EH: There hasn’t been that much of a difference because when we’re swimming on the team, it’s very similar to swimming with a club team. But you also get to see your teammates sometimes in class and that sort of thing.
CM: What has been your favorite experience or moment with the team so far?
EH: I really enjoyed when we went away on training trip. Just having everyone together, working really hard, and getting to go somewhere warm in the middle of winter is really awesome.
CM: Have you had any icicles in your hair kind of issues this or last winter?
EH: Actually, I mean, you know, with a hat and a hood you’re usually fine. But freezing used to happen a lot, especially with our equipment bags. But we get to keep them at the pool now, so it’s not much of a problem.
CM: I can’t imagine taking out a frozen swimsuit later.
EH: Yeah, it’s pretty funny.
CM: What do you think you’ve gained by being a varsity athlete, specifically at this school?
EH: I think the structure of a schedule and being on the team is helpful for managing my time and commitments and everything. Getting that much exercise all the time is great for stress relief, and also the community that I have on the team has been a big support network. Without it, I’m not really sure what I would do, to be honest.
CM: What about professional and Olympic swimming? Do you follow them?
EH: I think you naturally pay attention to it. Definitely during Olympic years, it’s so exciting to cheer for your team. I had a teammate actually, in 2012, who went to the Olympics. So, it was just so cool to send her off and cheer for her. So you definitely keep an eye on those pro swimmers. But at this level, we’re so busy all the time, it’s a little hard to keep up sometimes.