Swimmer sets her eyes on Olympic
by Jim Copony
Bosevska has garnered many awards, including being named Macedonias
2002 Female Athlete of the Year.
By Matt Kelly
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.
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.
was voted Macedonias female athlete of the year for 2002.
is exciting, she said. I am usually in the top five.
I had [athlete of the year award] in mind, but I didnt think
Smyth, one of Bosevskas coaches, said, She is one
of the most talented women to come through the doors of U.Va.
by Andrew Shurtleff
who has worked with other Olympic-caliber swimmers, said Bosevska
works diligently and does not take her status on the team for
leads by example, he said. She doesnt intimidate
the girls on our team, but she does intimidate most of the girls
in the conference.
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.
I complain about how hard it is and how I cant keep my eyes
open during class, she said. But at the same time,
if I wasnt in swimming I wouldnt be able to be here,
and I wouldnt be able to go to all these places I go to
compete, and I wouldnt get to experience the Olympics.
will continue training at U.Va. after graduation, working as a
graduate assistant coach.
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.
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.
didnt 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.
in the United States gave her new opportunities, and she has excelled,
qualifying for Macedonias five-member swim team. She appeared
in her first Olympics at 15, which she said was too young.
was not mentally ready for it, she said. Her only real memory
of it was feeling overwhelmed.
next time, in Australia, she was ready.
was confident in my training and knew I would swim well,
participated in the Junior European Championships before the Olympics
and still competes in international events.
will swim in the World Championships this summer in Barcelona,
Spain, bringing Smyth with her to maintain continuity in her training.
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
Bosevska, life after the 2004 Games is less defined. She might
continue in sports psychology and wants, someday, to marry and
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.
she is earning honors in her native land, Bosevska feels more
at home in the United States.
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. Ive been here so long, I think I would be better
just living here than if I went back home.