Second-year swimmer Adrian Goin was one of 24 McGill swimmers to compete at the 2019 U Sports National Championship in Vancouver, posting some impressive race times to qualify for the meet. However, Goin emphasized the importance of the lessons that he has learned from his more disappointing performances.
“Of course there’s been a lot of successes [and] a lot of great experiences, but [swimming has] also really taught me about failure as well,” Goin said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “I remember there was this one competition I went to […], and I actually had a chance [to make the Junior Olympics] in the 50 fly, so I was really excited […], and I bombed my race [….] I was upset about it, but I just thought, ‘You know what? It didn’t work out this time, but you know the mistakes you made, and you know how to fix it in the future.’”
Goin credited his competitive nature and his constant drive for improvement as his biggest motivations during training.
“I […] like trying to keep up with the people next to me,” Goin said. “No matter how bad of a day I’m having, someone on the team is pushing me. It’s a really good team atmosphere. Even on those days where it’s just like I’m training by myself, it’s nice to just have the time to just focus on your technique [….] I like thinking about ‘oh maybe if I try this, it’ll get better.’”
When they were young, Goin and his siblings only swam in the summer. Even as he became a more competitive swimmer, Goin still participated in a wide variety of sports.
“I actually did all of [these sports] because I love doing things,” Goin said. “The main reason that I stuck with swimming for so long is I was good at it, but I still play soccer during the summer. In high school, I still made sure to join the track team, soccer team, [and] any team that would take me. I just love sports.”
Athletics are not Goin’s only extra-curricular activity: The Pointe-Claire, QC native recently won the 2018-19 RSEQ Leadership and Community Service award in swimming for his volunteering effort with the ICU bridge program, an initiative to comfort patients and families in the intensive care units of three Montreal hospitals.
“We talk with the families, we support them […], give them someone to talk to, as well as support the patients because [staying in the hospital] can be [a] very stressful situation,” Goin said. “Just having someone to talk to can really help […], so it’s been a worthwhile experience, meeting all these people and working with them.”
Goin joined the program’s executive team in August 2018 and now manages volunteers at the Jewish General Hospital where he first got involved. In the future, he hopes to study medicine, and his time at the hospital has only reaffirmed this aspiration. But, for now Goin will continue working toward his Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
“I was planning on doing chemical engineering, and I remember I was reading up on what each engineering [discipline] entails in the future […], and I remember I loved the idea of civil engineering,” Goin said. “I really just like the idea of building things that last.”
Whether it’s civil engineering, medicine, or any other path that he treads, Goin will cherish the valuable experiences he has gained during his time on the swim team.
“There was a certain point […] where I actually didn’t like swimming,” Goin said. “I actually have to thank both [McGill Head Coach] Peter [Carpenter] and my friend Duncan, who used to be on the McGill swim team, for [helping me enjoy swimming again].””