A member of the Malaysia national team since she was 13, Redza, who grew up in Kuala Lumpur, said she’s prepared for the pressures of international competition. Redza served as a co-captain for her squad at last fall’s Malaysia Games 2018 and won gold in all three events she entered.
“I learned how to deal with pressure at a very young age,” she said. “But it’s a very rewarding experience. It’s so nice to meet the world-class swimmers and having an awesome reason to travel to all of these cool places.”
Redza hasn’t stopped training since her second straight NCAA Championships appearance in March.
“What Nadia has done this offseason, as well as last offseason, is extremely difficult to do,” UChicago head swimming coach Jason Weber said. “You have to have a high level of intrinsic motivation to train alone for months and maintain such a high level of performance. There are very few people on our team that would be able to do what she’s doing day in and out, alone.”
Building on a successful season
The first of her family to study abroad in the U.S., the economics major said one of the reasons she chose the University of Chicago was to be part of a team atmosphere.
“Swimming internationally is much more individual-based; people are focusing on making cuts and improving in their own events, while the NCAAs is more about celebrating achievements and triumphs as a team,” Redza said.
Both the women’s and men’s swimming teams had their best-ever finishes at the 2019 NCAA Championships this past March, placing sixth and eighth respectively.