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Ph.D. Student Determined to Swim for National Team at London Olympics

Joey Chen, a Ph.D. student in the Genome and Systems Biology Degree Program, is not just a serious scientist but a record-breaking Taiwanese swimmer determined to be chosen for Taiwan’s national team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Chen, who set a record in Taiwan for the 200-meter breaststroke, represented Taiwan at the 2004 Olympics and the 2010 Asian Games.

Chen joined his school’s swimming team in the third grade because he thought it was fun. Gradually, he became a dedicated swimmer who even passed up the opportunity to attend one of Taiwan’s most prestigious high schools to continue his training at a school closer to home. During that time, he competed constantly in swim meets and worked with virtually every swimming coach in Taiwan.

Having trained six hours a day during high school, Chen admits he had a lot of catching up to do academically when he entered NTU as an undergraduate. Since then, he has divided his life into two parts--academics and swimming. Despite his sacrifices, Chen has no regrets. He says that as long as your goals are clear and you understand what is most important to you, everything will be all right. He is also fortunate to have the support and encouragement of his advisor Prof. Hsueh-fen Juan, who makes sure he finds time to hit the pool.

Chen manages to squeeze in only two hours of training per day these days. Still, his determination allowed him to win the gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2011 National Games, and will be the key to his competing at the 2012 Olympics.

Chinese version