Harrison Thai was born in Pasadena and moved to La Cañada with his family as a small child. He attended Mountain Avenue Elementary School from kindergarten through sixth grade.
He enjoys playing video games with friends, loves reading, and, of course, swimming, which he’s been active in since the age of 7. He swims regularly at the YMCA, as well as at his home. “I began swimming because, when we moved to La Cañada, we had a pool, and I learned to swim for safety,” he said, adding, “Swimming is fun and it’s good exercise.”
Thai said he also enjoys the teamwork, traveling for swim meets, and the friendships he has made with teammates and people of all ages.
Thai’s passion for, and dedication to, swimming has yielded some nice results. Through the years, the youth qualified to participate in spring and summer Junior Olympics and was awarded numerous medals for outstanding performance, Beattie said, adding that now that he is 13 he swims at a different level and has qualified for several senior level swim meets, including the So Cal Grand Prix in January in Long Beach.
Thai recently learned that he has qualified as one of eight young swimmers who will represent Southern California in an upcoming competition in Seattle against teams from the United States and British Columbia. And he’s hoping to also qualify for the North America Challenge Cup next summer in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
Thai’s father said he’s proud of his son’s talent and dedication to his sport, as well as his ability to prioritize and keep up with his schoolwork and other activities.
“He’s self-driven. It used to be I wanted to make sure he practiced, but now I ask if he needs to take some time off and relax and he says ‘No,’ that he doesn’t want to miss out or get behind. This is all him now; I’m very proud of him,” Jack Thai said.
Although the youth hasn’t made a definite decision about a career, he said he might like to become a doctor, as many of his family members are in the medical profession, including an aunt who is a doctor, an uncle who is an anesthesiologist, and a few aunts who are pharmacists.
After high school, he hopes to attend college at either Stanford University or the University of Southern California.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE an exceptional young person who lives in La Crescenta or is a student here to be a Valley Sun All-Star, e-mail us at cveditorial@ valleysun.net.