Feb. 24, 2016

By Jake Maier ’17

Freshman jack-of-all-trades Steven Shek talks about his Chinese heritage and other sports he’s played growing up.

I hear you are quite the basketball player, is that true?

“In 2007 I played in a basketball league in New Jersey called the JKNBA. We won 0 games my first year; we were 0-12. Our hand-eye coordination was not the best. This past year we made it to the championship game. We didn’t lose a game until we played the No. 2 seed in the championship. We got off to a great start but once they realized that I was scoring all the points they shut me down and we lost. We were in level 1, the beginner league.”

Freshman Steven Shek swimming the 200 IM.

Freshman Steven Shek swimming the 200 IM.

Which of the 7 dwarves best describes you?

“Doc, because he looks nerdy. I would say I’m pretty nerdy.”

Who is your goofiest teammate?

“David Stewart, he’s so funny, he’s always off in his own world. If he was a dwarf he would probably be Dopey.”

You have visited Beijing on multiple occasions, why do you visit so often?

“My parents and my grandparents on my mom’s side wanted me to be more cultured and learn Chinese. It was a great opportunity because I was younger. I learned a lot of history and got to see where my grandparents lived. My Grandpa is a legend there, he knows everyone and everyone knows him. I climbed the Great Wall, but it was hard to breathe up there so I came right back down. I got to swim in the Cube, the pool that was built for the Beijing Olympics. The food there is amazing, I honestly can’t describe it, that’s what I miss the most. I can speak Chinese but I’m not very fluent because I haven’t been there in four years.”

What was your favorite part of the Beijing Olympics?

“I saw two soccer games at the Beijing Olympics, one of them was Thailand vs. South Korea. I loved seeing how amazed that the Beijing residents were when they saw all the foreigners. They think everything we do here is weird. I also thought it was amazing to see Michael Phelps win eight gold medals that year.”

Do you have any musical talents?

“I played the piano when I was six and I stopped when I was a freshmen in high school, I didn’t have enough time because of swimming. Playing piano really relaxed me, I miss it so much. I love listening to the kids play in Jordan.”

Why did you decide to stop playing soccer?

‘I was so bad at soccer when I was little. I was so bad that I scored on my own goal. No one played defense in the little kids’ league so when I was running after the ball I kicked it too hard and it went into my team’s goal.”

Who’s your favorite Shrek character?

“The Gingerbread Man, he is hilarious.”

If you could be any Disney Princess who would you be?

“Mulan; she’s culturally relatable.”

What is your favorite movie?

“I don’t watch movies, you could ask me about any of the most famous movies and I probably haven’t seen any of them. My two favorites are Se7en and Fight Club.”

If you could create a new rule for your sport what would it be?

“I would get rid of the backstroke.”

Do you have any superstitions?

“I have to lick my goggles before my race. Then I dip them in the pool before I race.”