The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  olympic sports profile Freshman Swimmer Dylan Bosch Makes A Splash In Ann Arbor Dylan Bosch has stormed out of the gates since arriving in Ann Arbor, already capturing four Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors in his short stint with the Wolverines. Still, the biggest challenge for the warm-weather import may be the potent winter that the state of Michigan is famous for. Such is the life of a freshman South African acclimating himself to one of the premier swimming programs, and most inclement weather regions, in America. But it almost didn't happen. "Truthfully, I wasn't really considering schools up north because I always heard how cold it gets," said Bosch, who also heavily considered Arizona, Georgia and LSU. "Initially it seemed like a huge obstacle to get over, but after looking at what the school could provide for me and my future, it luckily didn't really play a part in my decision. "It does get cold in South Africa, but not quite this cold. I have my jacket, my beanie and gloves, and so far it hasn't been that bad. I try to stay in the dorms or the classroom — places that are heated." Bosch has also spent much of his time in the water, where he has thrived for the No. 1-ranked Wolverines. He has already captured the top placing in the 200-yard butterfly at four different meets and won the 100-yard butterfly in his debut meet against Wisconsin. With so much talent surrounding him Bosch, a native of South Africa, has already captured Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors four times. photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations super athletes. "I enjoy working really hard, and seeing how hard these guys work has elevated my confidence and belief in myself. The team wants to succeed and always strives for the highest goals. It is a lot of pressure, but these guys are so well prepared that the pressure is not a factor." It is no coincidence, then, that the 2012 London Olympic Games, which were filled with past and present Wolverines, became an immense selling point for Bosch, who hopes to one day Bosch "I enjoy working really hard, and seeing how hard these guys work has elevated my confidence and belief in myself." on this year's Maize and Blue squad, swimming against the best opponents the nation has to offer can pale in comparison to the intense competition experienced daily in regular practice sessions. "Training with these guys is a big, big plus," Bosch said. "Knowing that these guys are so good at what they do and still train harder than anybody else, it really pushes me to my limit every day and constantly makes me a better swimmer. "We have a bunch of guys that are either Olympic athletes or legitimate Olympic hopefuls. The drive for success is a massive team thing, it is almost like a movement. Everyone is working hard and striving towards one goal — to be 74  the wolverine    January 2013 reach the pinnacle of sport himself. Ten total medals, including eight golds, were won by swimmers associated with Michigan, and head coach Mike Bottom has served as the head coach for the Serbian National Team in each of the past two Olympiads. "Entering into the process, I was looking at quite a few schools that could help me realize my dream of being an Olympic athlete, and maybe even a world champion someday," said Bosch, who finished second in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2012 South African Olympic Trials. "I decided that Michigan was the school that would help me train to the best of my ability and become that kind of athlete. "Knowing that the coaches know ex- actly what they are doing, and seeing guys like Connor Jaeger, who is now my current teammate, swim in London, it was a really big selling point." Even with the enormous success in the pool, it was the prestige within the classroom that became the ultimate selling point for Bosch. "The swimming aspect was obviously important, but at the same time I wanted to earn a really good education because I know I can't swim competitively for my whole life," he said. "I can make it my profession for a while, but there is much more to accomplish in life outside of swimming. "I needed a place that would give me the tools to adjust to life afterwards. Michigan offered me the best of both worlds." With his first semester as a U-M student-athlete coming to an end, the next big adjustment outside of the water for the worldly rookie will be living in the snow globe that is Ann Arbor during the winter months. "Apparently when I was very young, maybe around 3 or 4, it snowed briefly where I was living at the time," Bosch reminisced. "My parents set me down in the snow and I just started crying. So apparently I have seen snow, just not had to live in it for a couple of months. "I don't really know what to expect, but I am looking forward to it, I couldn't lie. I am keen to see what it is all about and excited to see Ann Arbor covered in white." — Kevin Minor

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