This Filipino-American Swimming Prodigy Just Beat Michael Phelps' 23-Year-Old Record—And He's Still In Middle School!
His name is Clark Kent Apuada, a 10-year-old swimming superstar, and one with big dreams, at that.
With his unique name and drive for success, as well as the number of competitions he's joined and medals he's brought home, it's really no wonder that this young man's nickname is "Superman," though "Aquaman" might be fitting, too. After all, he's quickly become an athletic marvel in his home state of California, thanks to his swimming prowess the rest of the world is just learning about now.
Clark started competing three years ago at 7 years old after discovering his love of water at the tender age of three. He's been crazy about the sport ever since, training day in and day out and making sure to chart the records of the world's top swimmers with the sole intention of beating them eventually.
Amazingly, Clark is off to a (very) strong start: this weekend, at the Far West International Championship held in California, he not only bested his competitors, but multi-awarded Olympian Michael Phelps, too. The world-famous swimmer made his name at the very same event in 1995 and clocked in at first place with a speed of 1:10.48. No one has topped his record in the last 23 years, until Clark came along who finished at 1:09:38. Overall, Clark was the first placer in all events at the competition.
Indeed, it was a satisfying feat for this athlete on the rise whose ultimate goal is to make it to the Olympics when he's old enough to qualify (he's eyeing the Paris 2024 or London 2028 Olympics). Focusing on honing his skills rather than the fame that comes with success, Clark looks like his way to the top is clear and unobstructed.
In addition to his talent in the water, this middle school student's discipline in and dedication to other fields have also impressed his older audience. When it comes to academics, he's especially gifted at math, science, and computer courses, whereas martial arts is also a sport he excels in and music, specifically piano, is something he's not too bad at either. (Is there anything he can't do?)
Without a doubt, the Salinas-born swimmer has a bright future to look forward to! Owning up to his growing status as a young role model to his fellow youth, he even shares his own words of wisdom to inspire those with big dreams just like him: never, ever give up on your dreams.
Photos from the Salinas Aquatic Center MCAT Facebook page