Liz Zhang Named Athlete of the Month

May 31, 2017, 1:24 p.m. (ET)

Liz Zhang, a 13-year-old member of Philadelphia Freedom Valley Synchro, has been named the Athlete of the Month for May.

“Liz is a delight to coach. I can’t remember a practice that Liz has attended where she hasn’t been smiling,” said her coach, Jennifer Hatt. “Even if we are working on a super-hard part of a routine or pushing more control and timing on figures, it is guaranteed that Liz will come up smiling!”

Liz, who was invited to the 2015 and 2016 National Development Training Camps, was named to the 2016 East Zone 12&U All-Stars, and she attended the National All-Star Clinic in Tonawanda, NY. She also served as a clinician for the East Zone Silver Clinic and taught information that was shared at the National All-Star Clinic.

“Giving back to the synchro community and to my team is very important to me. I believe that I should always give back to a sport that has taught me so much,” Liz said. “Synchro has taught me how to become a leader, how to push myself beyond my comfort zone and to think positive even in the hardest times.”

Liz helps the younger girls on the team with their figures and also helps coach the beginners. “When I work with the beginners, I watch them grow as swimmers and it helps me realize how to become a better swimmer myself, through giving them corrections,” she said.

“Even though Liz has a tough school schedule she will often attend the lesson practices after her long day and jump right in to help someone who is stuck,” said Jennifer. “She is also the first to volunteer to demonstrate a new skill to the younger swimmers on the team.”

Liz is a member of the Best Buddies club, where she assists with kids with special needs. “During our ‘break’ at school, my friends and I help special-needs kids and just dance and joke with them,” she said. “We help kids who have autism and those who are just disabled.” She also is a member of the orchestra and string ensemble at her school.

Last summer, Liz and her mother worked with the USA Synchro International Club Exchange (ICE) program to welcome the Shen Zhen synchronized swimming team from China. Liz helped translate during the athletes’ stay and took them on a tour of Valley Forge National Park to help them learn about American culture and history. She also helped the Chinese team compete at the Keystone State Games to give them a taste of synchro competition in America.

“This experience helped our team gain international synchro friends and sisters, and I also wrote a newspaper article in both Chinese and English, which was published and helped raise awareness about the synchro sport,” Liz said.

Liz, USA Synchro is proud to name you as its Swimmer of the Month!

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