Standing in line with the rest of the athletes, Lindi Schroeder ’20 watched as members of the Russian military carried out flags to commence the World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships held in Russia last summer. In an interview with The Phillipian, Schroeder initially recalls feeling overwhelmed by such diverse countries and cultures, but describes the ceremony as a culmination of her hard work.
“It was just really cool because there were all these different countries, and yet we were all able to gather in one place and be able to share the love of our sport… When you think about it that’s why you go through all your training and whatnot to reach that moment and that was a moment of realization about the team and representing my country,” said Schroeder.
As a member of the USA National Synchronized Swimming team, Schroeder often travels to compete around the world against other synchronized swimmers from a variety of countries.
“Going to international competitions has definitely been able to open my eyes up to all these new cultures. Last summer I went to Russia and Israel straight after each other. Sometimes we get days off so we can go explore. I love being introduced to the people’s lives there because we’re usually living in dorm rooms in an athletic complex. Then we get to try their food and what not and it’s really cool,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder parallels travelling to these various competitions with her experience attending boarding school this year.
“From when I was little, it’s kind of just the same as boarding school. Leaving home, being able to become completely independent from a really young age. I think I was 11 when I first started going away, so that was definitely something I had to overcome. I had to support myself, and feed myself sometimes when I needed to. Sometimes, the hours of it and mixing it with school and trying to balance both and see where my priorities lie is why I decided to come here and pursue an education,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder, who was never an exception to her family’s longstanding tradition of loving the water, joined her first synchro team shortly after learning how to swim at the age of five.
“My mom actually made me start swimming. My grandfather has a house next to a lake and my parents grew up in the water, so everyone knows how to swim. My mom wanted me to be able to swim out to the raft or go on a boat and just be comfortable in the water. I got kind of bored of the swim lessons so she put me in synchronized swimming at the Andover YMCA,” said Schroeder.
As Schroeder continued to train in this style of swimming, she discovered that competing for the US in this sport was one of her biggest passions and her biggest motivation source during harder practices.
Anna Lang ’19, a teammate of Schroeder, said, “[Lindi] was always making sure everyone continued to work hard and work as a team even though we practiced a lot and practice can be really hard sometimes. Almost every practice, she was always willing to go the extra mile, and before every swim, she would also give us a speech and get us all excited to swim, which was really nice.”
Though keeping up with such a demanding time commitment as a student at Andover is very ambitious, Schroeder still plans on maintaining her training after high school.
“As of right now, I would like to pursue synchronized swimming in my adult career, but things can always come up at any point. It’s definitely I’d like to pursue at least through college,” said Schroeder.