May 16-22 2003
Back Issues
Bond, Morse, Terry win 2003 Sullivan Awards
Advocate for diversity leads by example
Finals factoids
Music major creates programs for local schools

Tragedy spurs Muslim student’s effort to bring understanding

Finding history among the trees
Community through architecture
Moving toward a more inclusive environment
Jobe leads with faith, activism
Exploring vast worlds with Harrison Awards
Harvey blends work, study with passion for civic participation
Designing women sow success
Merging technology, music and art
From one-room school to athletic field
Persistence pays for Ukrainian student
Swimmer sets her eyes on Olympic event
Firefighting ideal job for Jefferson Scholar
Pruett’s ready to deploy, but not to leave her kids
Cancer survivor helps others
Swimmer sets her eyes on Olympic event
Mirjana Bosevska
Photo by Jim Copony
Mirjana Bosevska has garnered many awards, including being named Macedonia’s 2002 Female Athlete of the Year.

By Matt Kelly

Mirjana Bosevska hopes to end her swimming career at the Olympics. The Macedonian swimmer, who graduates with a degree in psychology, plans to make her third, and final, Olympic appearance at the Athens, Greece, games in 2004.

The 21-year-old, who has been swimming since she was 6, has been a leading member of the University swim team for four years and competed in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and in Sydney, Australia in 2000. Though she did not win medals, she finished among the top 20 swimmers in the 400-meter individual medley (100 meters each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle), the 200-meter butterfly and the 800-meter freestyle. She also holds ACC records in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.

Bosevska was voted Macedonia’s female athlete of the year for 2002.

“It is exciting,” she said. “I am usually in the top five. I had [athlete of the year award] in mind, but I didn’t think about it.”

Bill Smyth, one of Bosevska’s coaches, said, “She is one of the most talented women to come through the doors of U.Va.”

Mirjana Bosevska
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff
Mirjana Bosevska

Smyth, who has worked with other Olympic-caliber swimmers, said Bosevska works diligently and does not take her status on the team for granted.

“She leads by example,” he said. “She doesn’t intimidate the girls on our team, but she does intimidate most of the girls in the conference.”

Bosevska logs up to 5 1/2 hours a day in the pool, with extra time for weight training and other strength-building exercises. Her training regime takes up much of her time, with sleep and studying filling in most of the remainder.

“Sometimes I complain about how hard it is and how I can’t keep my eyes open during class,” she said. “But at the same time, if I wasn’t in swimming I wouldn’t be able to be here, and I wouldn’t be able to go to all these places I go to compete, and I wouldn’t get to experience the Olympics.”

Bosevska will continue training at U.Va. after graduation, working as a graduate assistant coach.

Bosevska started swimming in Macedonia, accompanying her sister, Vesna, when she took up the sport. Vesna soon dropped out, but Mirjana stayed with it, developing her dream of the Olympics at the age of 13, the year she came to the United States.

Her parents, fearing a war in Macedonia, had arranged for her education in Orlando, Fla., which would also boost her swimming. She initially thought she was
coming just for the summer but found out her stay would be longer.

“It didn’t take a long time to adjust,” she said. “The first six months were probably the hardest. It was nice because I was staying with a family, so I had a guide as to what I needed to be doing and how things worked here.”

Swimming in the United States gave her new opportunities, and she has excelled, qualifying for Macedonia’s five-member swim team. She appeared in her first Olympics at 15, which she said was “too young.”

“I was not mentally ready for it,” she said. Her only real memory of it was feeling overwhelmed.

The next time, in Australia, she was ready.

“I was confident in my training and knew I would swim well,” she said.

Bosevska participated in the Junior European Championships before the Olympics and still competes in international events.

She will swim in the World Championships this summer in Barcelona, Spain, bringing Smyth with her to maintain continuity in her training.

Bosevska is the latest Olympian on the U.Va. swim team. In 2000, there were three in addition to Bosevska: Ed Moses on the U.S. team, Shamek Pietucha, swimming for Canada, and Guy Yimsomruay, representing Thailand.

For Bosevska, life after the 2004 Games is less defined. She might continue in sports psychology and wants, someday, to marry and have children.

“A big part of swimming is mental, and I think the athletics and the psychology go together,” she said. “I might end up being something totally different.”

Although she is earning honors in her native land, Bosevska feels more at home in the United States.

“I am going to try to make my stay in the United States more permanent because in the end I would like to end up living here,” she said. “I’ve been here so long, I think I would be better just living here than if I went back home.”



© Copyright 2003 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page