Culture and Sports

Francisco Santos: “I always dreamed of going to the Olympic Games”

The Técnico student is one of the swimmers representing Portugal at the Olympic Games.

Earlier this month, the Técnico student Francisco Santos (Electrical and Computer Engineering) qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. “My dream has come true. If you asked me a few months ago, I never thought it was possible to achieve it so soon. I always dreamed of going to the Olympic Games since I started competing”, says the Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP) athlete.

In March, Francisco Santos broke 200m backstroke national record and qualified for the European Championship in Budapest, where he achieved an honourable 11th place in the 200m backstroke final.

“I was so overwhelmed when I realised that I had been qualified for the Olympics that I couldn’t even react. I wanted to cry, but I had no tears and I couldn’t stop smiling. I just thought that my dream has come true and in all those who made it possible”, recalls the Técnico student.

“Competing and being part of the Olympic Games is a unique experience. I will try to make the most of it! The gold medal is still far away, but I’m going to try to rank at the top 16”, says Francisco Santos.

How do you balance studies and sports? we asked him. “This has never been an easy task. It is rather difficult to manage a tight academic calendar nevertheless I was able to achieve some goals there, but none of them very prominent”, answers the Técnico student. The pandemic forced universities to close their doors and move classes online, which allowed the SCP athlete to improve his time management. “I never had the chance to swim in Técnico’s pool, but it would certainly be something I would love to do and it would also help me to further improve my time management and productivity”, says Francisco Santos.

The Técnico student emphasised: “Go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others think it is”.