In the front lawn of the Jeltema house on Hidden Trail Drive, someone placed a sign reading “Congratulations Mia Jeltema!” The Jeltemas don't know how it got there, but it was a nice nod to their …
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In the front lawn of the Jeltema house on Hidden Trail Drive, someone placed a sign reading “Congratulations Mia Jeltema!” The Jeltemas don't know how it got there, but it was a nice nod to their 10-year-old swimmer who brought four gold medals back with her to her Parker home from the state meet in Colorado Springs.
The Parker Chronicle sat down with Mia and her family on a Monday afternoon, after Mia's first day of middle school, to talk about the 10-year-old's love for swimming and, perhaps more so, winning.
I'm a 10-year-old student at Cimarron Middle School from Parker and a competitive state swimmer. I won the 2018 overall 10-and-under Colorado State Long Course Swimming Championship in Colorado Springs in July and was recently selected to the Colorado team for the Western Zones Long Course Championships in California. I have gold medals in four individual events and one relay gold medal in the girls 200 freestyle.
I love playing MineCraft, camping with my family and road biking in my free time. I will join the Cimarron Middle School cross country team in the fall.
How I got into swimming
I started out just for safety and I started to like being in the water. I love swimming because I love the motions of going through the water and pulling it and accelerating myself.
Competing against friends is ...
It's sort of like, I'll be friends with them in between races. Ten minutes prior I'll be talking with someone in the lane next to me, but that's about it. Then I'm completely focused on my race and I don't care about anybody else at the time. It's like, “I don't know anybody and I'm just here to race.”
We're friends out of the water, but we're really big competitors in the water and we're not friends at all. I'm here to win and I don't like losing at all. But if I'm ranked 11th and I get fifth, I consider that a win.
What I picked up along the way
My mindset about things. If I don't have a good mindset for my race, I'll usually add time. It's usually not my physical part, it's my mental. I'll go out and try my best, but if I have a bad mindset, I just don't perform well. That's probably the hardest thing.
Who I look up to
My parents. My coach that I've had for three years, coach Morgan Edwards. He still swims and he's just really supportive of me and he'll make sure he focuses on all the tiny things instead of just the big things, because every second counts.
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