Connect with us

GNOC

OLYMPIC PROFILE: BENJI SCHULTE

[sixcol_five_last]

By Robert Balajadia

Benji Schulte

Ever since being introduced to the water at five years old, Benji Schulte has strived to get better. The 16-year old Guam native will be representing Guam in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics in the 10K marathon. Schulte will be one of the three swimmers representing Guam including Pilar Shimizu and Chris Duenas.

Schulte, a former Tamuning resident, is currently living in Australia having moved there two years ago but still comes back to the island to compete in annual swimming events. He started swimming competitively on Guam for the Tarakito Swim Club, a team he is still part of, while attending his early high school life at John F. Kennedy.

16 going on Olympian

While most high school students at 16-years old get ready for finals and prom Schulte is preparing for the biggest competition on a global scale. With all the big names in swimming going to be at Schulte’s side, he admitted he was a little intimidated but can handle the pressure.

Schulte uses special equipment to aid him in his training, such as the one that he is using here which keeps his legs afloat as he uses just his arms to propel himself through the water. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

“I really don’t feel any pressure, it’s just another swim meet. You do the same thing, you get dressed the same way and wall up the same way as you would in a local meet with hundreds of other swimmers. This is just another competition,” stated Schulte.

Schulte is not going into the Olympics with unreasonable expectations and is aiming for gaining a lot of experience. This goal to swim with the world’s greatest has been made possible through training year round. While dealing with the normality of any high school student, Schulte takes no time off from training.

“Training has been intense. I train 10 times a week, get up at 4:45 a.m. before school and train until 7:30 a.m. then I go to school and back to the pool after. So I pretty much live by the pool,” he stated.

Thanks Coach

After years of coaching Schulte, Pepe Laflamme is now looked to as a family member rather than a training coach. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Schulte gives a lot of credit to his coaches in Toshiki Ijima, world famous Dennis Cotterell and Tarakito Swim Club coach Joseph Pepe Laflamme. During Schulte’s short visit to Guam it has been coach Pepe who has been at the pool training him. Schulte said that the relationship with his coach has surpassed the professional level and has evolved into a family level. He puts a lot of trust in Pepe in having been there with him since the beginning.

Schulte’s parents Greg and Lou Schulte have been as committed as he, not only in an Olympic sense but swimming in general.  Benji also gives thanks to everyone who has been there since his shallow swimming days at the Agana pool.

“My dad wakes up at 4-5 a.m. to take me to the pool every morning while my mom organizes everything. She is in charge of scheduling and letting family and friends on Guam know what is going on and how I am doing. They have been my biggest inspiration and my biggest supporters my entire life,” he stated.

London Lights

This will be Schulte’s first trip to London and knows that one of the highlights of the Olympic experience will be the opening ceremony.

“I’ve been thinking about the opening ceremony for the longest time and I can’t wait to get there and have it start. I went to the Pacific Games in New Caledonia last year and that opening ceremony was amazing. Just walking around the track and waving at everybody and they are all cheering for you. I can’t imagine a 50,000 seat stadium where all attention is on you and the world watching,” stated Schulte on the walking in.

The Olympic experience can be considered once in a lifetime but Schulte has no plans of making this trip his last. At 16-years old, the sky is the limit and Schulte is more than ready.

“I would love to compete in the Olympics until I’m 40 but you never know what can happen in four years. I’m trying to take it one step at a time so I’m thinking this is going to be my only Olympics so that I get really excited for it and that when this is gone I can forget about it and look forward to the next one.”

[/sixcol_five_last][ubm_premium_banner_rotation banners=14, 18, 39 interval=9 width=120 height=600 orderby=rand]

[fbshare url=”http://www.gspnlive.com/?p=13554″ type=”button”][fblike url=”http://www.gspnlive.com/?p=13554″ style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”]

Ad

GPS Sports Calendar

April

May 2021

June
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
Events for May

30th

No Events
Events for May

31st

No Events

Foody’s Fun Facts

FD Friars Volleyball Setter Elijah Garrido

Polls

Which opponent are you most looking forward to Guam facing as the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers resumes?

View Results

DID U KNOW?

Four of the six starters on the 2020 Middle School Volleyball Champion Untalan Wildcats met for the first time since winning a title together as the Tiyan Titans took on the Okkodo Bulldogs in the first game of the ISA Boys Volleyball Season. (#7 Samuel Carino, #9 Lance Mupas, #15 Nicholas Santos, #17 Nash Ericsson)

COMING SOON …

  • ISA Girls & Boys Volleyball
  • IIAAG Beach Volleyball
  • ISA/IIAAG Cross Country
  • ISA/IIAAG Tennis

QUICK HITS

Pro rugger Zach Pangelinan suffered a leg injury on his way to a try in the Houston SaberCats match vs. the L.A. Giltinis on Saturday in Major League Rugby action. The 32-year-old fullback in his fourth year with Houston is recovering and said he will be back on the pitch soon.
——————————————————–
Free agency signing: Jamal Agnew joins the Jacksonville Jaguars on a reported 3-year, $21 million contract.
——————————————————–
Roque Martinez will face off against Josh Parisian on June 19th!

More in GNOC