Featured - August 17, 2016
Alumni: Class of 2015
Crawford College La Lucia
Michelle Weber is the rose amongst the thorns of the Crawfordians who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics from CrawfordSchools™! Not only is she the only lady out of our four Crawfordians who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, she’s also the only female swimmer from South Africa to qualify!
“Because I’m the only woman to qualify, I really want to do my country proud … for the girls! I want to show that we are a force to be reckoned with,” says Michelle, who has chased her Olympic dream for the past seven years.
“Qualifying for the Olympics was a dream come true for me. I’ve worked really hard and so when I finally qualified, I was over-joyed!”
Michelle is a long distance, or marathon swimmer, so she covers a lot of mileage! Her training consists of nine swimming sessions per week, each being two hours long and covering eight kilometres per session. She also does a light, one-hour gym session twice a week!
“Training takes a lot out of me because I give everything I have. I never waste a session!” she says. “So many times I didn’t go out with my friends because I was just too tired or I had a hard training session the next morning — but that’s what it takes and I’m focused.”
In 2012, Michelle became Junior World Champion in the 5km at the Junior Open Water World Championship and earlier this year she won the Midmar Mile — the first time in many years a South African woman has won the race! And of course, Michelle also won her race in Portugal which qualified her for the Olympic Games.
Michelle says she is most grateful for the support she gets from her mom and her dad and also for the assistance she received from the school.
“While I was at school, my training schedule was crazy and I travelled overseas a lot to compete. The Crawford teachers helped out so much with extra lessons and guidelines on how to improve my marks — they encouraged me and kept me positive.”
Michelle has received so many messages of congratulations since she qualified and says knowing that she has so many people backing her before she has even jumped into the water will keep her focused. But, most of all, Michelle would like to make her mom proud.
“My mom has cancer for the second time in four years, which is emotionally very hard for our entire family. I’m hoping that the positivity of this Olympic dream, will make a difference to her.”