Guam Olympian Mineri Gomez embraced her “time to shine,” recording a personal best in her 100-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Games on July 28.

“I am very satisfied with my performance. … I am very happy with the time that I made,” said Gomez of her 1:04.00 finish. “The moment I dove into the water, I just thought to myself ‘It's time to shine’ and just did what I needed to do. All the hard work paid off.”

It’s been a tough training season, Gomez said, and hitting a personal best on the world’s largest stage made all the sacrifices the past year worth it.

“Jagger (Stephens) and I were training in Phuket, Thailand, two months prior to going to the Olympic Games. We were with the FINA program training under the FINA coaches, Miguel Lopez and Alexander Tikhonov,” she said. “It was a very intense and high-quality training every day in and out of the water. We had ten sessions of swim training and four sessions of gym workout every week.”

The intensive training required sacrifice and discipline, she said, amping up the stress and pressure to perform.

“But I was able to have fun and excitement through training. The other swimmers who were also in the program were very supportive and I am very glad and thankful for the amazing opportunity,” she said.

With her first Olympic experience behind her, Gomez is hoping to pack those lessons and utilize them at the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships 2021 in Abu Dhabi slated for December.

There’s always room for improvement, she said.

“Improvement in time and making my personal best will always be my goal in any competition,” she said. “To do that, I would have to improve my skills in strength, power, and speed and bring my performance level up.”

A future in swimming is something she said she’s still considering.

“Swimming is a very unique sport because swimming techniques and trends are constantly changing. In order to become a good swimmer, it will require great strength, power, speed, and knowledge in how to swim smart. It also requires a strong mentality,” she said.

Competing internationally is always the goal, she said, adding the intensity and emphasis she places on technique make it a foregone conclusion that she will compete.

And another shot at the Olympics? After experiencing it first hand, she said, it’s definitely not out of reach to consider competing in the next Games.

While normally driven by competition, Gomez’s immediate plans involve decompressing and focusing on self-care after the stress of preparing to battle the world’s best.

The BTS fanatic, who readily admits reading is not her forte, said she is looking forward to sending more time with her family, whether it’s going to the beach, salon or shopping.

“I spend most of my time training and studying so family time is very precious for me,” she said.

Before closing out, she wanted to thank those who made her journey possible.

“I would like to thank my parents for being there for me throughout my swimming career. They have always been very supportive and they are my number one fans,” she said.

She credits her training on Guam and in Thailand with allowing her to continually move her ceiling to compete at world-class events.

“Thank you to ONOC, GNOC, and GSF for giving me such a blessing opportunity to compete and train around the world,” she said. “And lastly thank you to my friends and people on Guam who has been rooting for me in every event that I go to. Because of these amazing people, I was able to become an Olympian.”

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