Although Lexi Laird's time swimming for IUPUI has come to an end, her swimming career is far from over. She now represents the nation of Seychelles in numerous international competitions. We are very proud of her accomplishments, and the way she represents Kelley. Below you can read excerpts from her interview with the Seychelles News Agency.
Team Seychelles won 25 gold medals at the 9th Indian Ocean Island Games [IOIG] held in Reunion, a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean, from August 1 to 9.
Three of the gold medals were won by the newest member of the Seychelles national swimming team in the 50 metre, 100 metre and 200 metre backstroke events.
The 22-year-old, US-born Alexus Laird made her debut in the competition this year and with it broke three of the games and national records.
SNA met up with the relatively unknown new star at the swimming pool at Roche Caiman, on the outskirts of the Seychelles capital of Victoria before one of her training sessions.
SNA: What led you to swimming? How long have you been doing it?
AL: I was put into swimming when I was 6. I liked it from the very start; even at that level I got to take part in small competitions, kind of like the kids do here. Then when I was in what you would call A-levels[high school] here, I got a little bit faster and I was able to get a scholarship to go to university, based on my swimming. At the university I swam for my school as I got a pretty decent scholarship and that is basically what I have been doing for the past four years.
SNA: What are you doing in life at the moment?
AL: I’ve been in the university for 4 years [Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis] doing a double major in accounting and finance. Right now I’m doing my last semester so I will be done in December after which I’ll be sitting for the Certified Public Accountant [CPA] exam. That will take roughly around 8 months; there will be 4 exams and I will be studying in between each one.
Swimming wise, I just finished my four-year swimming scholarship with the university and soon will be joining the Carmel Swim Club, which is one of the top five swimming facilities in the US. They train some really good swimmers.
SNA: How would you describe your participation in the competition and representing Seychelles?
AL: I was very happy with it even if there were strokes that I had only started training. For those events, I went in with an open mind and was happy with my results. I wasn’t expecting big things from my off events but to see that I did very well in my good events was very exciting. I had lots of best times and records. It was an honor to represent Seychelles and I was really glad that I could make everyone proud.
SNA: Was it hard to stay focused during the competition? What would you say kept you motivated?
AL: Not really because I have this really big idea that I can be really great and I never want to think that I didn’t do everything I could to be the best. I don’t want to look back and think that I could have done better, in every sense of the word. I always give a 100% to achieve my goals. So it’s basically swimming over all other things.
SNA: What are your plans for the future? Are you planning on working in Seychelles after your studies?
AL: After I get my CPA license, I have to work in the US for two years but it doesn’t matter when I do it, so I can come here. That depends on a lot of factors and I’ve talked to my family about this, so it will be a decision made by all of us if I come here, but it has definitely been talked about.
SNA: What would you like to achieve in life?
AL: Apart from the swimming related achievements I would really like to work at Ernst and Young which is a big accounting firm. I’ve talked to them and actually have a job opportunity there. When they came to my school they interviewed me and they have been in contact with me. Hopefully after five years of working with them I can become a partner.
If you are interested in learning more about Lexi's story, you can read the full interview here.