Karl Arvidsson – Senior Cal Swimming

“My name is Karl Arvidsson and I am a Senior on the defending national champion Cal Men’s Swim team. I entered the season with one goal in mind: lead the team to another national title. There was a bit more intensity in our everyday practices than previous years when we began training together this past August.” 

“The Olympic Games were about 11 months away and our head coach, Dave Durden, had already been selected to lead the US Men’s team in Tokyo. While several of my teammates had a good shot at representing their respective countries at the Olympics, we had our sights set on the college championship season. The Pac-12 championships at the beginning of March served as a stepping stone toward our ultimate goal of defending our title two weeks later at NCAA’s.”

“We knew we had a chance to win so long as we pushed each other to get better every day, made sacrifices in our social lives, and performed at a high level. Throughout my time at Cal, I dreamed of ending my college swimming career with a national title, while doing it with an outstanding group of men and representing the best community I’ve better been a part of.”

“As we moved toward championship season, our excitement was building. The team continued to train well, race well and above all else, enjoy the time we got to spend together. We had a unique chemistry and Coach Durden borrowed a quote from LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron that encapsulated this energy; signing every group message with the words “One Heartbeat, One Team.” 

“The Pac-12 Championships proved that we were on track to defend our National Title. We won our third consecutive conference championship and qualified 14 swimmers to represent Cal at NCAA’s. By no stretch of my imagination did I, or any of the other five seniors who qualified for NCAA’s, think that the Pac-12’s would be our last collegiate swim meet.”

“While we were heartbroken when we found out that the National Championships had been cancelled, we all knew it was the right decision. The cancellation made me appreciate what I value most about my life as a swimmer. I will be forever grateful for the friendships I have made and the people that I have learned from throughout my sixteen-year swimming career. “

“This was not how any of us imagined our senior season’s would end but we are thankful that we have each other, the Cal Men’s swimming community, and cannot wait to go to the NCAA’s in Iowa City at the end of next March and lose our voices cheering for the still defending National Champion Cal Bears.”

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