West Ranch Junior Jonathan Gim dives into his first year as West Ranch swim and dive captain


   With a swift backward dive, West Ranch junior Jonathan Gim kicks off his specialty event, the 100 meter backstroke. To get ahead of his opponents and beat his personal record, Gim focuses on making powerful kicks. Training for six days a week, two hours a day, Gim achieved his personal record of 50.42 seconds in the 100 meter backstroke at a meet in November 2021.

   Gim is a part of West Ranch’s varsity swim and dive team and his club team Rosebowl Aquatics. He has been swimming for the past six years, ever since his mother encouraged him to join the sport at 11 years old. His passion for swimming helps him love the sport’s constant challenge to his mind and body. 

   “The hardest challenge I have faced in the sport itself was realizing that it can’t always be fun. There will be hard days, days that I don’t want to wake up and days that I want to quit,” Gim expressed.

   Although Gim faces challenges within the sport, he explained that it has allowed him to grow and realize that “the decisions made during those times set the best and the average apart. Swimming brings a mental aspect, as does every sport, that no one can prepare you for.”

   This season marks his first as a West Ranch swim and dive captain, and Gim is preparing to lead his teammates to their fullest potential. West Ranch swim and dive coach Kearsten Livingstone told the Paw Print that she hopes “to see him as a leader on the team in and out of the water, encouraging his teammates and also helping some of the swimmers that are a little bit newer to the sport.”

   Swimming isn’t just a sport for Gim. When asked how the sport had impacted his life, he commented, “Swimming has changed my lifestyle completely. There are countless lessons and feelings that come with the sport.”

   Showing his strong drive for success and personal development, Gim says that “there has never been a season where [he has] not improved in the pool.”

   His motivation stems from his past teammates, now in college, who were “not only good teammates, but also mentors and friends.” 

   He emphasized that one of the most important lessons he learned was “to take failure and turn it into success.”

   Whenever he’s in the pool, Gim strives to always improve on himself and his skills. Gim’s close friends, senior Michael Lee and junior Connor Grant, both agree that Gim is very hard working and driven, with a strong work ethic in both the sport and school. 

   When interviewed, Grant praised Gim extensively: “He will never give up, and that’s something I really admire.”

   Lee added that “he has a lot of ambition since he drives forty minutes to practice every day.”

   As Gim is almost a senior, his achievements are being recognized, receiving recruitment offers from numerous universities. While he has not made a decision about commitment as of now, he hopes to do so by the end of this year. West Ranch looks forward to seeing where Gim commits and his future accomplishments in swimming!