Most of us have dreams that we hold dear, such as being a famous actor or musician, or being the mind behind the next great computer, or maybe even being the best in some particular sport.
These two athletes decided at any early age to become world-class in their sports. They trained their bodies and minds. They sought the payoff for their hard work in the Olympic games.
Success in the world pool
In sync with Stephanie Nesbitt.Stephanie Nesbitt, age 18 when interviewed for this story, lives in Riverside, California, and has been competing in synchronized swimming since she was nine.Stephanie was inspired when she watched other synchronized swimming teams at the World Cup in 2002. She was 16 years old, and a good swimmer. She decided to train harder, and with a bigger goal.
In the summer of 2004, Stephanie marched in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Athens, Greece. Her synchronized team won a bronze medal for the United States that year.
"When I was little, I loved to swim," says Stephanie. "I was in the pool all of the time making up routines with my sister, acting like we were the best in the world. It was great."
It's a good thing she likes to swim, because she spends a lot of time in the water.
Stephanie trains 10 hours a day.
What motivates her?
Stephanie says her motivation to try to make the Olympic team came from within herself, not from others.
"I don't recall there ever being a specific moment when I stepped back and actually thought about being as good as these other athletes," she says.
"My improvement all happened so quickly for me, and I always had such high expectations for myself; nothing was ever good enough."
Read on to learn about another teenager with Olympic dreams...