Marco Aldabe, sophomore biology major, is making a splash in the NSU community and on the Sharks men’s swimming and diving team.
Aldabe is from Alicante, Spain, which is on the east coast by the Mediterranean Sea. He moved to the Jacksonville area in 2008 when he was 16. Two years later, he went back to Spain for a year, before living in Norway for two years. He moved back to South Florida earlier this year.
Now in his first year on the swimming and diving team, he performs backstroke, individual medley and mid-distance freestyle. He loves being at NSU and is enjoying being on a team that’s larger than his past ones.
“It’s a new experience. The team is great, like a family. It’s a very united and a unique atmosphere,” he said.
Aldabe participates in nine practice swim sessions, three weight sessions and three drill practices per week, but says that he does not mind the intense training as it’s necessary to compete. He especially enjoys the campus pools because they’re larger than the ones he’s used to
Aldabe described his swimming career as an adventure. He began swimming when he was 11 and as he began to get better and better, he wanted to compete.
He was chosen to swim for the Spanish international team but they did not have the budget to pay for his participation in competitions, so he was only taken to training camps. He began competing for the Bolles School in Jacksonville. Then, the Norwegian junior national coach invited Aldabe to swim for them and he began competing for the Norwegian National Team, with which he participated in his first international meet in 2010.
Since he enrolled at NSU, Aldabe has not only aimed for swimming success; he also tries to meet as many people as possible.
“I’m a people person. I love to talk to everyone and get to know everyone,” he said.
Aldabe misses his home and his tight knight family, who he says inspire him. Though the distance between them is difficult, Aldabe uses this as motivation to achieve his goals of becoming a dentist and improving his swimming talents.
I sat down with Aldabe to ask him a few questions.
What is that hardest part about your training?
On Monday mornings, there is a special distance set that scares the swimmers on Sunday night.
What do you miss most about Europe?
I miss my family, friends and the European food.
What is your favorite European food?
My favorite is probably my father’s paella, a Spanish yellow rice dish with either seafood, rabbit or any other type of meat.
What is your favorite American food?
I like the Jack Daniels burger from Friday’s.
What else do you do for fun?
Well, swimming keeps me pretty busy, but sometimes I’ll go see a movie or out for dinner.
What would you like NSU students to know about you?
I want them to please come up and talk to me. I want to get to know everyone.