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Junior David Karasek and the men’s swimming and diving team begins the 2010-11 season Monday with a dual meet at Florida. Karasek, a native of Switzerland, recently caught up with to talk about the upcoming season, his international experience, and what he likes to do for fun.

Question: Are you ready for the season to start?
I am really excited. We have had hard practices for about the last two weeks and now it’s really starting to hit us. It’s really important we go there with a good attitude and come ready to race. Florida is a great team and we are looking forward to it.

Question: Last year you missed most of the spring. How are you looking to get back and make an impact?
Last year for me, I practiced well until about January, when I got mono. So I was out for ACCs, having to take about two months off. After the season I went home and changed my technique a little bit and did some drills and video analysis. I came back here and just mainly tried with get back in shape with this new technique, and already it’s paying off, especially in the shorter distances.

Question: How did you end up at UVa all the way from Switzerland?
I knew if I ever wanted to achieve something in swimming I had to move from Zurich and change my scenery a little bit. I was looking in America for a good business school and a good swim team. It came down to Virginia, Ohio State and California (Berkeley). But I came here and liked the team a lot. I didn’t even take my other trip. It’s worked out really well.

Question: You have had a lot of international experience, swimming in the World University Games and other events. How has that helped you at the college level?
It’s a lot different, just because all the international meets are long course meters. At the World University Games, Scot (Robison) was there too, and it was funny because we swam next to each other in a lot of the heats. I think the biggest think is nerves – I used to get really nervous but when you swim all those big meets they help you not become so overly nervous that it affects your performance.

Question: What is your major?
I am concentrating on finance and management in the Comm School. I think I want to swim until 2012 and try to make the Olympic Team. That would be a good way to end my career. After that, maybe get a master’s degree first before I start working. I am really not sure at this point in time.

Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
It was a class called negotiating for value. We had cases that we had to work through. The class would be divided in two and each side would get different information. You had to come together in the end and figure out a solution.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Here, I play video games and hang out with the team. At home, in the offseason, I love to kitesurf. Besides swimming, it’s my favorite sport.

Question: How often do you get home?
I go home for Christmas, usually for about a week, and then in the summer. Whenever I have a big meet in Europe, I go home a couple weeks before to train and get ready for that.

Question: When is your next international meet?
World Championships next summer, which I haven’t qualified for yet. This season actually works out well because we will have trials right after NCAAs. The last couple years it has been between ACCs and NCAAs, which is difficult. Hopefully this year I can take that taper with me and have a great long course meet.

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