– The Competitive Swimmer
“ISKL is a big contrast compared to the other schools I have attended. All the hard-working people here have inspired me to do the same thing – to work hard! I also thank the teachers that motivate me every day and my older sister, who has influenced and inspired me a lot to keep doing what I do and to do it well.”
Ole Christian N. (‘24) joined ISKL in Grade 10 amidst the pandemic, having lived in Norway and the United Kingdom before coming to Malaysia. A competitive swimmer, he has taken part in many IASAS events, as well as the recent Malaysia Open and Malaysia Invitational Age Group (MIAG). Apart from swimming, he plays the trumpet, is part of the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Combo, and aspires to be part of the military band in the King’s Guard in Norway one day.
Here is Ole Christian’s story:
Do tell us more about yourself.
I was born and raised in Norway and have lived in Norway for most of my life. My home city is Sandefjord, about an hour south of Oslo, the capital. I also lived in a city called Stavanger in western Norway.
However, in second grade, I moved to London and stayed there for two years. A fun fact about me is that I used to speak with a British accent, but I lost it once we moved back to Norway and now here to Malaysia!
When did you come to Malaysia, and in which grade did you join ISKL?
I started at ISKL in the fall of 2021 and entered Grade 10. With the Covid pandemic restrictions, I started attending online classes from Norway, meaning I had to wake up at 3:00 am for school and go to bed at 9:00 am!
When the situation improved, I moved to Malaysia with my family of 5. Starting school in person at ISKL was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Not only was it in a different country, but it was also a completely different school system and language. Getting into everything has taken a lot of time, but I am now a part of the school community.
Do tell us more about your swimming activities.
I have been swimming for as long as I can remember – it has probably been 12 years since I started.
When I came to ISKL, I started swimming on the Varsity team immediately, and the IASAS season this year was an amazing experience. We went to the Singapore American School (SAS) for an exchange and hosted the actual IASAS at ISKL. Not only did I make more friends within the Swim team and the school, but I also made friends with people from other schools. I am so grateful that we got to host other swimmers at our house. This was not only great for making friends but also for learning more about different cultures. I brought home one gold, silver, and bronze medal, which I am extremely proud of. With one year left to go, I can’t wait for the next IASAS!
I also qualified for the nationals here in Malaysia this year, and I swam at the Malaysia Open and Malaysia Invitational Age Group (MIAG) this spring. I loved having the opportunity to race against other top swimmers, and even though it was a national competition, people came from other countries such as Taiwan, Australia, India, and more, which was cool. I also loved that many swimmers from ISKL made it to nationals, so we could stick together and support each other throughout the competitions!
Can you tell us more about your other hobbies and interests?
Another thing I have been doing my whole life is music. I have been playing the trumpet for ten years, which I love. In school, I play in the Wind Ensemble, and what I love about that is the opportunity to play with other great musicians in a smaller group where you stay in the crowd.
During my time here at ISKL, I have also played with the Jazz Combo, where we have done a lot of great gigs and performances which I will never forget. Spending a lot of time together, we have also become really good friends, which I truly appreciate.
Music means a lot to me, and it helps me disconnect from everything else happening in life. The best part of music is playing together with other people. When I play with others, I feel a sense of deeper connection and understanding that cannot be obtained with words, which is what I love about music.
Any plans for after you graduate ISKL – what would you like to do?
Ever since I was little, I have wanted to join the military band within the King’s Guard. It is a part of the Norwegian military, an icon for military bands in Norway. They travel all around the world, performing and participating in military tattoos. This would be a wonderful experience for me to improve my musical skills and talents while meeting a lot of new talented musicians.
Do you have any thoughts on your career pathway?
After going to the military band, I want to study something in relation to technology, such as computer science, robotics, or cybersecurity. Technology is something that has always caught my attention and interest, and it is something that I want to continue with. I want to make a difference in the world with technology.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My hopes for the future are for me to accomplish the things I set my mind and body to. I wish to be successful in what I do, and I also hope to enjoy life and be happy, treating every day as a new opportunity for something great to happen. I want to live my life to its full potential.
Who or what inspires you or has influenced you?
ISKL is a big contrast compared to the other schools I have attended. All the hard-working people in ISKL have inspired me to do the same thing, to work hard! I also want to thank the teachers, as they are the ones that motivate me every day. My older sister, who is graduating this year, has also influenced and inspired me a lot to keep doing what I do and to do it well.
Describe your memorable moment at ISKL.
One of the most memorable moments at ISKL that I will never forget is my GAP trip to Bali in 2022. It was such a wonderful trip, and I am so grateful that I got to experience it with the amazing people I went with. I loved how we helped the local community in Bali and how we got to know their culture, and I especially enjoyed their traditional dances!
What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world” “mean to you?
Knowing yourself is one of the most important things as you live your life. At ISKL, I have learned a lot about myself, which has made me more confident.
To care for all is a basic principle I stand for. Every day, every minute, every second, I try to care and to be nice to everyone around me. I always try to be happy and show my gratitude towards others. Even though sometimes it is good to be sad and express your feelings, I have experienced that smiling and making other people smile makes you feel a lot better. This would be great advice I would give to others.
Creating a better world means several things to me. It is to create a better world for yourself, so do what you want and not let other people control you. It is about honesty and love, and caring for other people. It can also create a better world for everyone to live in if that is to actively work towards reducing climate change or reducing stereotypes in society.
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.