Nevada swimmer Andressa Cholodvoskis fulfilled her childhood dream and more.
Since she was 10 years old growing up in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Cholodovskis envisioned a future as a student-athlete for a prestigious Division-I school. Now in her fourth year with the Nevada women’s swim and dive team, she can reflect on her journey.
“I’ve had the best four years of my life,” she said. “Being here was an experience I’ll never forget… It’s gonna be different, but I’m really excited for this new step in my life.”
Before she departs from the university, Cholodovskis is tying the bow on a decorated career with the Wolf Pack. She earned her fifth Mountain West Swimmer of the Week award on Oct. 1 after netting 182 points in the Washington State Relay.
Her quick start to the season comes with steady improvement for the senior swimmer over the past four years. Cholodovskis took the podium five times during the 2019 Mountain West Championships with two gold medals and three silvers. She finished her junior season by winning 15 individual events.
Cholodovskis has made an impact since she stepped onto campus in 2016. As the lone senior on the team, her leadership and optimistic attitude has spread to fellow teammates.
“Andressa helped us right off the bat when she got here, but she’s continued to improve each season,” head coach Brendon Bray said. “She’s a real team-first person and leads by example in the pool. She’s been able to mentor the younger girls on the team and she is just a special person to have at this program.”
Cholodovskis spread her talents to multiple areas of competition. As a sophomore, she recorded the Husky Invitational record of 1:59.20 in the 200-yard Individual Medley.
But it’s not just the individual accolades that stand out on Cholodovskis’ resume. She swam in the 400 and 800-yard freestyle team relays over the past three years. Nevada won its first 800-yard freestyle relay last season since joining the Mountain West.
“I think I got more confident in my swimming abilities and myself as well,” she said. “With the help of coach Bray, I was able to be more confident in myself and I have been able to enjoy swimming again and make sure I’m having fun.”
Before her arrival at Nevada, Cholodovskis already had a leg up over the rest of the field. She began competitive swimming at six years old. Her skills in the pool spread globally when she competed in the 2013 Junior World Championships in Dubai as well as the 2015 South Africa Championships.
With so many years of experience, the 22-year-old sees herself as the elderly member of the team.
“I always say I’m old because I’ve been around for a long time,” she said. “Getting to know new people that were in my homeland was special… I started really young, and it pushed me to reach my potential.”
Moving from Brazil to America had its challenges for Cholodovskis. But in order to fulfill her childhood dream of playing for a D-I school, she knew it’d take discipline and effort. That’s why she studied English at an early age to adapt to American culture.
“I started learning English when I was 10 or 11,” she said. “I had to go out of school to get private lessons and it was hard to balance school and swim by itself. But it was something I’ve always wanted, coming to the U.S. and being a student-athlete at a Division-1 school. So it was a goal I’ve always had.”
Now that Cholodovskis has nestled in at Nevada, she’s aware of the distinct differences between the Silver State and her home country.
“It’s really different being back home,” she said. “We are a very passionate and communicative culture. We always love to socialize. Being in America, it’s not the same way. There are some boundaries on what to do and what not to do.”
Cholodovskis found a second home with the Nevada women’s swim and dive team. Members from Canada and several European countries have given the group a unique cultural background over the years.
This year’s team has eight different swimmers from different countries and continents including Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Mexico, New Zealand, Vancouver and Australia.
“I really enjoy how international this team is,” Cholodovskis said. “My freshman year, there were like three Germans, and people from England and Scotland. That whole international culture made me feel more at home.”
Along with her dominant swimming career, Cholodovskis has made the most of her stay at Nevada. Fans in the stands can spot her at several other sporting events cheering on the Wolf Pack.
It’s those simple, but substantial actions that Cholodovskis accomplished at Nevada. It’s also why she’ll be missed so greatly when she leaves the program.
“She’s always supporting this school in anyway she can,” Bray said. “You’ll see her at volleyball games, football games, basketball games, baseball and so on. It’s those things that have impacted this program and she’ll be missed tremendously.”
Isaiah Burrows can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.