Athlete Spotlight: James Wood girls' swimmer Eleanor Armel

5e211f725d44b.imageJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Swimming. Events: 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay

Parents: Ayako and James Armel

Hometown: Okinawa, Japan; moved to the area in 2013.

What do you love about swimming: I love how competitive it is. It's like an individual sport and I enjoy that a lot, but I also enjoy how the team is so close together, the communication and all of the friendships you can create on the team. It's really nice.

Most memorable moment in swimming: It was when I made it to regionals last year [in the 100 breaststroke]. I was very happy about it. I got like second to last, but I was so happy to be there.

Most embarrassing moment in swimming: I didn't realize I was swimming 100 fly and I thought I was swimming 100 breast like I normally do. I went in the water and I looked over to my right and I see someone is doing the fly. I just stayed under water as long as I could and I popped out do the fly. I didn't get disqualified.

Most difficult moment in swimming: I think it's getting enough time in the water. We only have one pool here and it's like six teams and it's kind of hard to get all of our times in. There's like 40 people on each team and there's only so much water we can share. You have to find different ways to work out to get stronger, instead of being in the water.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Shawn Mendez, I like his music and he's nice looking; He's definitely one of my celebrity crushes; Simone Biles, she's accomplished so much. I'd really want to hear from her and I think that would be interesting; [Tennis player] Naomi Osaka, she's very interesting. I like watching her interviews and I think she's very funny.

Guilty pleasure: Eating too much sweets after I work out. I think working out for an hour makes it OK to eat like three bags of Reese's Cups.

Favorite teacher: My freshman science teach Miss [Victoria] Woodson. She has just been there for me. I was new to the school and it was hard for me to make friends and connections. She helped me a lot with my schoolwork and getting on task, setting goals and helping me accomplish my goals. She's been a really good mentor for me.

Favorite athlete: Simone Biles

Favorite sports team: Washington Capitals

Favorite movie: “My Neighbor Totoro”

Favorite TV show: “The Good Doctor”

Favorite song: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey

Favorite food: Okinawa soba. It's like my hometown food and I like being known for that. It's really good.

Plans after high school: I want to become a travelling nurse. I want to help people in the world. I want to see the world and I want to see it from a different view because I enjoy traveling a lot. My great-aunt [Kathleen] talks about nursing. She was a midwife and she enjoyed it. ... She thinks I would be really great in the field and I think I would love it too because I really like helping people.

— Compiled by Walt Moody


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