By Daniel Haynes
WITH 11 days left in the countdown to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, most Guyanese are awaiting the world’s biggest sporting event that will be held in their own ‘back yard’. However, 19 year old Guyanese swimmer, Jamila Keizia Sanmoogan, is not just watching the games but participating in them. The second of Guyana’s swimmers and one of the six Olympic athletes, Jamila Keizia Sanmoogan is no stranger to the international stage. Her love of swimming she says, led her to where she is
Born March 20, 1997, the younger of two children, Jamila has been swimming since the age of 4, when she first found her love for water.
“I think I have always had a love for water; my parents were always scared of how I would just jump in” stated Jamila, while laughing at the memory. “From there it just morphed and here I am.”
Here she is indeed and the swimmer, currently in Colombia on a swimming scholarship, recalled the moment she found out she had been chosen to represent her country.
“It felt as if my dreams finally came true, there were so many feelings, from excitement to happiness” she stated before continuing, “I’m just happy to be representing my country and I’ll certainly do my best!”
The swimmer, who will be competing in the 50m freestyle, isn’t going out on her first outing, so Guyanese can rest assured she is experienced. Jamila has represented Guyana in Suriname, Barbados, Russia, Qatar, Mexico and Paraguay, to name a few countries she has competed in.
The athlete had a piece of advice for all athletes, especially swimmers:
“No matter how dedicated your lifestyle is, there is always going to be a point where you will want to stop because it is too hard. You need to find that something deep down inside of you and say I can, I will, and I won’t give up.”
She gives credit to all who have guided her to where she is: her coaches, her family, and those that encouraged her along her way.
The eyes of Guyanese will definitely be on her this year, and at 19, the world is her’s to conquer as she has the best wishes of a nation behind her.