Michael Rafalskyy

“When I was four years old, my dad taught me how to play water polo. Since that moment, the rest of my childhood was based around swimming and everything that came with it. As I grew up, my skills improved more and more and by the time I got to fifth grade, I was playing on my school’s varsity team. During my time on the varsity team, one of the most famous Russian water polo coaches saw me and began scouting me. He eventually approached me with the incredible opportunity to play for the Junior Olympics Reserves Team. Being I was still in elementary school though, the idea of joining such a prestigious team seemed crazy to me; the amount of time and effort I would need to dedicate was too much for me to handle. So, I quit. Looking back on my decision to quit the sport which I had dedicated so much of my life to, taught me about the different ways in which I can approach what life throws at me. It taught me that regardless of the different paths that open for us, we will ultimately be guided into taking the one that is best for us… even if that sometimes means missing out on what would be incredible opportunities. I am eternally grateful for the chance I got to be a part of the team, and even though there is a part of me that regrets not joining it… there is an even bigger part of me that is extremely happy with how my life ended up!”

– Michael Rafalskyy, 10th Grade Student

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