Varsity swimmer Anabela Chico is a leader in and out of the pool


Carolina Ochoa Lozano

Senior Anabela Chico dedicates her time to swimming while additionally balancing a job and extracurriculars.

Quincy Siffort, Writer

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Anabela Chico is a swimmer for the women’s varsity swimming team. She was born in Venezuela and moved to South Florida when she was six years old.

Chico started swimming when she was three years old and never looked back. Growing up, she worked hard at her craft and built a passion and love for the sport.

“I tried other sports and nothing ever beat out swimming,” Chico said. “It has always been a very toxic relationship… but I always loved competing, after practicing everyday for hours, seeing that those countless hours paid off was great.”

Chico is a sprinter on the MSD swim team, competing in the 50m and 100m events.

“Some of us have the endurance to swim for miles and others are much better at bringing that firepower,” Chico said “I am much better [sprinting], pushing myself until that last straw of fire in my body, using everything I have.”

Throughout her childhood, Chico had several noteworthy role models. In the swim world, she looked up to Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel, both Olympic gold medalist swimmers for the United States.

“Even though I don’t want to go pro in swimming, [Ledecky and Dressel’s] motivation and passion for the sport is a huge motivator in everything,” Chico said.

Chico further looked up to her parents, who moved to the U.S. with two toddlers and little to no money in their bank account.

“My parents picked up everything and moved to a new country,” Chico said. “They do everything for us and there are no words for how grateful I am.”

Chico’s greatest accomplishment is moving to a new country and having to restart her life. It was difficult for her to adapt to the new lifestyle and culture in her new home.

“I moved schools a lot, especially when we had just moved here. Having to learn a new language and meet new people [was hard],” Chico said.

When she isn’t swimming, Chico’s hands are pretty full. She is a director for the multicultural show, a yearbook editor and the president of the culinary club. On top of her extracurriculars and clubs, she maintains a job and partakes in college classes.

“In every little space of time I have, even if it is just 15 minutes, I try to read or relax and watch Netflix,” Chico said.

Chico is working hard to not only become a better swimmer, but also a better leader to her peers.