Adam Stromberg made his mark beautifully on the international stage earlier this month.
The former Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Team member was recruited by his mother's home country of St. Lucia in the Caribbean where he swam for the international team at the 29th-annual Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States swimming championships held back on Nov. 8-10 on the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Since I'm a dual citizen for St. Lucia, we kind of just thought I should hop on and represent the country a little bit,” he explained.
"The coaches were more than excited to have me aboard, so they wanted me to come to a regional meet before going off to the bigger meet. Like short-course world trials and Commonwealth Games and stuff.
“They flew me down to an OCSC swim meet there in St. Vincent to meet some of the other swimmers,” Stromberg continued.
“The rest is history, really.”
The coaches entered Stromberg into all 14 events available at the OECS swimming championships held at the Shrewsbury Aquatic Centre, where he was phenomenal in racking up three gold medals while also medalling in five other events.
The venue is an outdoor pool, which Stromberg noted was a new experience for himself.
Battling the elements that included strong winds, heavy rain, and 30-degree sunshine, he shone bright on the international stage for St. Lucia as he snared gold in the 50m breast stroke along with claiming another pair of golds in the team relays.
“It's a lot more [events] than I usually do,” Stromberg conceded, who is in his fourth year with the Lethbridge University Pronghorns.
"When I was down there the coaches just told me to swim fast and get points and so I tried the best that I could do.
“I think it was just a big change to swim outside in a meet from being in Canada so much, I'm used to swimming in a controlled environment,” he added of the challenges of battling the elements.
"You know, I'm about to get on the blocks down there and it's pouring rain or something or I'm sweating from the heat.
“It's a big difference,” he stressed.
Another major difference that Stromberg said he experienced was that the water temperature was a lot warmer than it would be in a regular pool in Canada.
“The pool is a lot more warmer, I'd say, over a typical pool in Canada just because the heating is the sun,” he noted.
“But by the second or third day I started to adjust and it was pretty good.”
The pride of representing the country of St. Lucia and competing against skilled swimmers from the islands of Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, and Antigua and Barbados is what Stromberg said stood out to him the most while competing at the championships.
His stellar showing helped St. Lucia finish second overall at this year's competition, just behind Grenada, and his efforts have been appreciated by the national team as they invited him back next year for a multitude of swimming events coordinated by the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Federation and the OECS, who are both affiliated with FINA and the IOC.
“There was a lot of fans there and they were screaming and hollering and throwing their flags around and there was lots of music playing,” he recalled of his time at this year's event.
"Everyone was just proud to see their swimmers represent the country. Regardless if it was cricket, which is a big sport down there with soccer, they treat each sport as it was just as important.
“It gives me a little more drive to work in the pool,” he said of being invited back for next year.
“Obviously now the picture is two big meets, which would be in Barbados and is CCCAN, and then hopefully after that it would be the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics if that's in line with it and I'm swimming fast enough,” Stromberg revealed.