When the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games take place in two weeks, Northview High School and the community of Johns Creek will be well represented.
Matias Koski, a 2012 Northview graduate that holds multiple GHSA swimming state records, will suit up for his native Finland and compete in the 200 meter, 500 meter, and 1500 meter freestyle races.
“It is a huge honor for me to be able to represent my country,” said Koski, who trains under coach Rich Murphy with the metro Atlanta based Dynamo swim club. “Being able to say that you went to the Olympics is something that a very rare amount of people get to say.”
Koski qualified for the Finnish team via his performance at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on April 1, taking first in the national swimming competition in the 1500 — with a time of 15 minutes and 9.17 seconds.
The win in Indianapolis came just weeks after Koski won GHSA state titles in the 200 and 500 meter freestyles (notching state records in both) and helped the Titans 400 relay team win a state title of their own.
“Matias is a hard worker who trains well within a group and by himself,” said Murphy of his swim pupil, noting that specific combination was rare. “He is a strong kicker, kicks well in the pool when swimming and when doing kicking-specific training, and that is a critical skill for Olympic-level success.”
Murphy joined Koski in Belgium last week to assist in his training for the swimming events which start in just over two weeks — the 400-Free will be held July 28, the 200-Free takes place July 29 and 30, and Koski will swim the 1500-Free on August 3 and 4.
“My goals are to go and swim well, but most importantly have fun,” said Koski, who will enroll in and compete at the University of Georgia when he returns in the fall.
“The most important thing for me is cherishing every moment. It is the biggest sporting event in history and it is something I will want to remember for the rest of my life.”