AthElites: Nicole Dorvinen

Nicole Dorvinen described herself as “crazy” more than once when she sat down for her AthElites interview.  

She is vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Mortar Board National Honor Society Treasurer AND Social Chair, and the National Society of Leadership and Success Membership’s Outreach coordinator.

That’s just outside of the pool. She’s a captain of the women’s swim and dive team, has won state championships,  was the WIAC Women’s conference championship swimmer and was team MVP here at Eau Claire for the past two years.

And somehow, out of that crazy-busy life, she was gracious enough to talk swimming with me: 

Emily Gresbrink: How long have you been swimming for?

Nicole Dorvinen: My entire career? I’ve been swimming for probably a little over 12 years.


EG: I know there are different events in swimming; what are the ones you do?

ND: I like to say that I do what everyone else doesn’t want to. I mainly swim distance: 1000 yard freestyle, 200 butterfly, 400 individual medley …


EG: Do you know why those aren’t popular?

ND: Uh, because they’re long and, well … nobody likes to swim butterfly because they say it’s pretty hard. Nobody wants to swim a 200 butterfly. 400 IM is all strokes combined and distance freestyle is a lot of long swims. People tell me I’m crazy, but I can’t sprint to save my life. It’s the only thing I can do, so I guess — why not do it?


EG: What would you say makes an an AthElite?

ND: Dedication. I’m really big into not giving up on your goals and aiming high and doing anything you can to achieve them. Also, being positive and not giving up on your dreams, putting in hard work —  you’re not going to  get anywhere if you don’t work hard and love what you’re doing. You gotta love it and give 100 percent all of the time.


EG: Do you think you fit that description?

ND: Yeah. I think I’m different than a lot of athletes at this university and my team — a lot of people tell me I’m crazy because I love swimming too much, but that’s how I am where I am.


EG: Why do you love to swim so much?

ND: Well, I’m an only child and my mom never knew how to swim so I was put in swimming lessons from a very young age. My parents wanted me to have a lifelong activity — it’s my stress reliever, it’s life. I define myself as a swimmer and that’s who I am.


EG: Finally, not related to swimming, but still a real question. If you were any kind of shoe in the world, what would you be and why?

ND: I’d be some sort of tennis or running shoe, but an obnoxious color. I have the most obnoxious color shoes — I have neon orange and neon green, so I’d be some sort of brightly colored shoe.

EG: I have bright orange converse, so I feel you there.

ND: Yeah, I like to be different and stand out — so I get you too.