Sportzwiki Exclusive: From the Land of the Brahmaputra, He is all Set to Conquer the English Channel, Tete- a-tete With Elvis Ali Hazarika
Conquering the English Channel is a ‘dream come true’ situation for every long-distance swimmer.
It separates southern England from northern France and links the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Many have made attempts to swim this stretch, but very few have succeeded.
UK’s Matthew Webb was the first to cross the Channel in 1875. Mihir Sen was the first Indian to accomplish the feat in 1958. In the following year, India’s Arati Saha became the first woman from Asia to cross the stretch.
Come June, and another Indian will try to conquer the mighty English Channel. National Champion for ten consecutive years and a former South Asian Games Champion, Elvis Ali Hazarika comes from the land of the Brahmaputra, Assam and has left no stone unturned in his efforts.
Sportzwiki met Elvis for an exclusive interaction before he flew off to London.
- So how did swimming begin? Any inspiration in the family?
My parents always wanted me to be a swimmer. So, I started out swimming, as a toddler of age two and a half years.
- You were a known name in India’s junior swimming scene. Tell us about your early days?
I was consecutively National Champion for ten years in which I had done countless number of records, which I am proud to say, no other swimmer has ever been able to clock. I was hardworking and dedicated and my coaches called me their favourite student.
- Which has been the most memorable moment of your professional swimming career till date? Any accomplishment that still makes you proud?
I became the champion in the 1999 South Asian Games and brought laurels to the country. That can be called my most memorable achievement ever in my career as a swimmer
- How did the idea of attempting to cross the English Channel come to you?
Since I was a child, I had heard people attempting and crossing the English Channel. So it was always a childhood dream to cross the English Channel.
- For your preparations, you have also trained under current Kings XI Punjab fielding coach Nishant Bordoloi. Tell us more about the experience?
Nishanta Bordoloi is one of the most hardworking and dedicated trainers I have ever trained with. He can train one’s body to push through limits.
Training with him made me a lot stronger and able than before. And at this age, I could accomplish various fitness goals by training under him.
- What is the diet that you are following as you are heading towards the big day?
I am very strict to my diet. I have a very low carb, low fat and high protein diet which work directly on my muscles to strengthen them. My diet basically focuses on increasing my core stability.
- It is not just physical training but a lot of mental conditioning, as well that is required. So, how do you unwind generally?
Since the very first day I plunged in to the water, I have always been fearless. So, this fearless attitude of mine has helped me to succeed. And I am very positive about my attempt to cross the English Channel.
I have trained my mind over the years of physical training and performance to accomplish any task which relates to swimming. So yeah. Let’s hope for the best.
- You are leaving for London later this month. So, tell us about the schedule and when is the attempt taking place?
I am leaving for London on the 17th of May (the interaction took place at an earlier date). My attempt date is on the 3rd of June, 2018. I will do my further training in London, in the time of my stay.
The date of the attempt might fluctuate if there is any environmental problem which might be dangerous for my health.
- Any message to your fans?
I just want to say that never quit. It’s always on your mind. After all, it’s the brain which is in control of our body. And our brain is our own. We own it, and we do it.
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