Samantha Tubbs swims backstroke at the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Get to know the athletes living at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Center in Chula Vista, California through the Team USA Resident-Athlete Series. Each month, USParalympics.org will feature one Paralympic athlete in detail, as they share their athletic and personal journeys, goals for the future, and much more.
Meet Para swimmer Samantha Tubbs, one of the many resident-athletes living and training at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tubbs recently won a silver medal at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. Now she has her sights set on securing at spot at Tokyo 2020.
Name: Samantha Tubbs
Hometown: King George, Virginia
School: DeVry University
Recent accomplishments: Won silver and broke the American record in the 100 breaststroke at the Parapan American games in Lima, Peru.
When did you first get involved with your sport?
I’ve played sports all my life. I played soccer for awhile but eventually decided to quit, which lead me to swimming. My friend invited me to join her summer swim team, the Eden Estate Eels. The coaches on that team were amazing and really took the time to teach me the basics of swimming.
What was your first experience on campus like?
I first came to the OPTC for a week long camp when I was 16. The swim team was so welcoming, and I had a great time. All the facilities were amazing. That made me decide that I wanted to move to the training center as soon as I was able.
Favorite thing about living in Colorado Springs/at the Training Center:
My favorite thing about living in Colorado Springs is that there’s so much to do around town. There’s always something you can find to do, such as a hike or a trip to the top of Pikes Peak. Plus, Colorado is beautiful.
What kind of opportunities has living at the OPTC given you?
It’s allowed me to travel the world for swim meets, it’s given me independence and taught me many life skills. Probably my favorite thing though is getting to help promote the Paralympics through volunteer work in Colorado Springs.
What’s your favorite thing about your sport?
My favorite thing about swimming is competing. I’m a very competitive person, and I love racing. I also love all the friends that I’ve had the opportunity to meet through swimming, as well as the camaraderie that the sport brings.
Where is the coolest place that you’ve competed at? Where’s somewhere you want to compete?
The coolest place I’ve ever competed was Berlin, Germany. The meet was extremely fun. I loved getting to go see the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. I’ve always wanted to compete in Tokyo simply because it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go!
Who has played a big role in you getting to where you are?
My parents have really helped me a lot. They have always supported my swimming journey, no matter what. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me. My first coach also played a big role, and without him, I wouldn’t have kept swimming after I first started.
What has been your proudest moment in your athletic career so far?
The proudest moment in my athletic career so far has been when I won my silver in Lima. More specifically it was when they announced my name while I was on the medal podium. My hard work paid off, and it was amazing to see.
What are some of your goals for your athletic career? Outside of swimming?
My biggest goal for my athletic career is to go to Tokyo and give it my all, which will hopefully land me a medal. Outside of swimming, my end career goal is to work for NASA. I want to be a planetary geologist and do research on deep space.
What’s next for you?
Next I will be going to Indianapolis for a meet, then about a month after I will be in Minnesota for Trials. After those meets I will find out if I was selected for the Tokyo 2020 team. Until then, more and more training.