Slovenian swimmer Peter John Stevens chatted with Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about his athletic career in swimming, and being a swimmer in the digital age.
“The past few weeks have been good. I have been progressing in the water,” he said. “Now, we have better conditions than before.”
On his ethnic background, he revealed that he was born in Slovenia, and he speaks Slovenian. “My mother is Slovenian but my father is English,” he said. “I think I got my American accent in the United States when I lived there all those years.”
He is drawn to the breaststroke since it is such a “unique event.” “There is something different about the stroke: it can be on-point, it can be off-point,” he explained. “Sometimes, I can feel amazing in the water, or sometimes, it feels like I’m going slow. You really need to cherish the stroke, that’s how I see it. I really like breaststroke a lot.”
In 2019, he was a member of the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL), as part of Team Iron, where he served as a co-captain of the team along with Katinka Hosszu. “That was amazing. I didn’t expect that but when they asked me, I was more than welcome to do that,” he said. “I was the ‘Iron Cowboy’ at that point. It was cool since you are competing with your swimming idols. It was the honor of a lifetime.”
He complimented Team Iron General Manager Dorina Szekeres for “being on top of things.” “It gets very busy as a team manager,” he said. “Dorina was there for everyone on the team, and it was great to have athletes from all over the world on a Hungarian team.”
“The ISL experience is a unique thing,” he added.
At the 2016 Short Course World Championships, Stevens won the silver medal in the men’s 50 meter breaststroke race.
On being a swimmer in the digital age, he said, “It allows you to get more exposure. The pressure is high, especially on social media. Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, I have been more on social media and Zoom.”Stevens shared that he uses a Whoop watch, which measures your heart rate and everything.
For young and aspiring swimmers, Stevens remarked, “It’s really a life experience. It mends you to be very competitive and compliant in what you do. You have the grit in whatever career you want to do afterward. You will have an advantage over any competitor you have because swimming is such a team sport. You realize that every swimmer you have on your team is key. You need to include everyone in the process to help you on this journey. It teaches you that you can’t do everything on your own, and you need to have a team to back you up and you need to have clear communication with them.”
On the title of the current chapter of his life, he responded, “I just got a puppy dog named Simba, who is five months old and he is going to get big. We got him and it turned out well.”
He had nothing but the kindest remarks about his former college teammate (University of Tennessee) and friend, South African swimmer Ryan Coetzee. “Ryan is great. He is a social butterfly,” he said.
In addition to his athletic endeavors, Stevens also serves as Director of Operations at ONEflow Aquatics at Rath Holding GmbH in Germany.
Stevens defined the word success as “happiness in life.” “Enjoying life and enjoying the process, that’s a success to me,” he concluded.