Young Swimmer, Aya Adams, A Rising Tide

Aya Adams, the story of a rising queen in the pool

Eight-year-old Aya Adams is already making a splash in the swimming community, signaling a promising future here and beyond.

Her recent victory at the Silverfin Pentathlon Invitational Gala, where she triumphed in her 6-8 years category event, outpacing her close competitors Siima Nalwoga and Gabrielle Amaya, underscores her burgeoning talent.

This victory adds to her growing list of accomplishments, including a stunning win in the 50-meter butterfly event at the League 2 swimming meet, where she clocked an impressive 39.84 seconds among the 10 and Under category.

Aya Adams on the podium

Also, Aya secured five gold medals in primary school competitions, each victory more convincing than the last. Yet, her aspirations reach far beyond local accolades. “I want to go to the Olympics,” the determined eight-year-old declares.

“I want to be the youngest person to make it there. I want to go to the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.”

Aya’s ambitions also include pursuing higher education while continuing her athletic journey. She dreams of joining Stanford University as a student-athlete, a testament to her dedication both in and out of the pool.

Born in Somalia, Aya relocated to Kampala, Uganda, with her mother, Mackenzie Adams, and brother, Elyas.

Despite the challenges of adapting to a new country at a young age, Aya’s aquatic talent has shone brightly, a testament to her resilience and remarkable skill nurtured by family support and expert coaching.

Mackenzie Adams, Aya’s mother, plays a pivotal role in her daughter’s journey, balancing the roles of nurturing her talent and ensuring she enjoys a fulfilling childhood.

“It’s incredible to see her so passionate about swimming,” Mackenzie shares.

“I always believed in encouraging my children to pursue what they love. For Aya, it’s always been about the water.”

Despite her burgeoning success, Aya maintains a balance between her swimming career and childhood joys, enjoying time with her brother and exploring other interests.

However, her competitive spirit remains evident whenever she dives into the pool.

Looking ahead, Mackenzie envisions a vibrant future for her daughter, supporting her every step of the way. “In five years, I see Aya as a vibrant, brilliant, dedicated 13-year-old who is pursuing her dreams with me right by her side helping to make them a reality,” she says.

Aya Adams

Beyond personal achievements, Mackenzie harbors hopes for Aya to become the first female Somali Olympic swimmer, inspiring young girls in the Somali community and fostering a culture of competitive swimming worldwide.

While facing personal challenges, including the loss of a grandparent and a family member’s illness, Aya’s resilience shines through, buoyed by her unwavering determination and the steadfast support of her family.



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