This year, the swim team at Malden High School has gone above and beyond, resulting in them placing first place in the Greater Boston League (GBL). At the head of the team is swim captain Joyce Zhou, who helped to lead the team to this great accomplishment.
Zhou joined the swim team during her freshman year, which was the year that the team’s season was pushed back due to remote learning. From the very beginning, Zhou has proved that she is passionate and determined to succeed.
Not only is she a great swimmer who simply enjoys the feeling of being in the water, “You’re just floating, you feel relaxed,” Zhou explained. But she is also a powerful person who loves to support those around her, and in turn feels supported by her teammates, “I really like how I’m freely allowed to express myself around my teammates.”
“She's very dedicated to the team, goes to every practice, every swim clinic, and she ALWAYS tries her best,” co-captain Larissa Granja said. Since joining the team sophomore year, Granja has played a vital role in leading the team alongside Zhou.
“Joyce is one of the kindest people I know, since the first time I met her sophomore year. As a leader, she is willing to help anyone and everyone. Doesn’t matter what it is, but she’ll help them,” Granja said.
Zhou has done her best for the past few years to grow as both a person and leader. Her efforts have proved fruitful as she has become someone that people look up to on the team. “Acknowledge everyone, don’t leave anyone out, even if you are not close with them, or they do not have that welcoming aura. Just talk to everyone because if you are a leader you have to know who is on your team,” Zhou said explaining her mindset when it comes to leadership.
For the past four years, Zhou has done her best to support and form strong bonds with the other members of the team. “She tries to always make sure everyone is accounted for and no one is left behind or in the dark,” co-captain Joao Victor Santos explained.
Zhou emphasized that she wants to make sure that her teammates know that they “can come up to me when they need anything.” Zhou further emphasized the importance of understanding those around her and how their lives differ from her own.
Zhou — who has dedicated much of her time outside of school to swimming, including being a lifeguard and helping to run the MHS Saturday Swim Clinics — has proved invaluable to Coach Jessica Bisson. Bisson explained that she is always prepared to “jump in to help others.”
During Swim Clinics she has proved herself to be a patient and kind person who has the ability to help anyone. Having been working with Zhou for the last four years, Bisson is proud to see her enter this new stage in her life. “She just needs to realize her potential,” emphasized Bisson. She cannot wait to see what Zhou accomplishes and wishes her the “best of luck.”
“I just want [my teammates] to know that coach Bission always wants the best for us, even though she is very strict about attendance and keeping up with the practice and workouts it’s always gonna come back to you about how hard you were working in practice, even if you’re struggling,” said Zhou.