Amy Micallef: ‘As much as I try to limit myself I always end up sinning on some chocolate’

Malta national team swimmer Amy Micallef, 21, has already broken 13 national records. What will our Q&A reveal about her?

Malta national team swimmer Amy Micallef, 21, has been competing for the past 10 years – by the age of 19 she had already broken 13 national records. She is the current holder of the Long Course national record in all three breaststroke events

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Since I have to be at the pool at 5.30am every morning I always try to wake up as late as possible, get dressed quickly and leave the house.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Make sure you do what makes you happy and what you love. You need to be all in or all out, so just go for it and deal with each obstacle step by step. Most importantly enjoy each moment and appreciate the journey.

What do you never leave the house without?

My phone.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Driven, considerate and reserved.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Representing Malta in the FINA World Championships three times. It is always an honour to represent your country but at such a high level it is even more special and the experience itself is extremely unique.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Sweets. As much as I try to limit myself I always end up sinning on some chocolate.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Ups and downs are to be expected and sometimes difficult periods may seem impossible to overcome, but at the end of the day it’s not the end of the world. Failure is necessary to make the finish line more rewarding so learn to experience growth, be positive, and surround yourself with like-minded, supportive people.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My car.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I valued time more. I don’t really regret anything but I know I could have used my energy for more productive things. I think it took a few years until I really decided to commit to what I wanted so I would say I wish I wasted less time on irrelevant things.

Who’s your inspiration?

Swimmers like Rebecca Soni, but on a daily basis my parents and my coaches who do so much for me just to see me achieve and be happy.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Overcoming my insecurities and confidence issues. I tend to overthink a lot of situations and doubt my abilities for no reason, so pushing myself through these barriers to achieve at a high level in my sport has been a challenge.

If you weren’t an athlete what would you be doing?  

Right now swimming is a big part of my life… if I wasn’t so committed I’d probably try to travel and visit a few places around the world.

Do you believe in God?

Not the most religious of people but I do believe in God or at least in being grateful to something bigger than ourselves for the opportunities we have been given.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I lost all my grandparents around the age of 12… so it would be with them.

What’s your worst habit?

Sleeping whilst watching a film or series, which can be really frustrating.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I rarely get drunk but I’m fun to be around... I dance more than I would if I’m sober and make sure everyone is dancing too.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Jennifer Aniston.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People who are big-headed or too proud. I just enjoy genuine conversations with realistic people.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’, by Ronan Keating.

What is your most treasured material possession?

I honestly don’t really treasure material things but I must say I cannot live without my phone.

What is your earliest memory?

I’m the youngest in my family, my siblings are 14 and 12 years older… funnily enough one of my earliest memories is when I had told my mother “I’m the boss” and I must have been very young when I said that!

When did you last cry, and why?

After my recent performances in the Small Nations Games in Montenegro this year. Unfortunately, my races did not go the way I planned and I was obviously disappointed. I had been preparing for this event for a long time but in sport you win some and you lose some, now I just need to get back stronger.

Who would you most like to meet?

Although I’ve met quite a few Olympians I would really like to meet Michael Phelps as I never had the opportunity to do so before he retired.

What’s your favourite food?

Thai food. But I would have to say that my mother’s homemade timpana still remains my favourite food.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Don’t really follow any particular person on social media. I love keeping up to date with what my friends are doing and I follow quite a few athletes.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Early 1900s.

What book are you reading right now?

Not much of a bookworm, and after reading a few journals for my dissertation I haven’t yet picked up a book. I think I’ll look for an autobiography.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Snap my fingers and choose where I need to be next within a few seconds, avoiding traffic and travelling. That would be awesome.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

A one-way ticket to travel the world and not be sure of when I’m coming back or exactly where I’m going that would be great.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

‘Rescue Me’ by One Republic.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I’ve got one particular album which includes a mix of songs that I’ve either ‘shazamed’ from the radio and so on, or just songs which I particularly liked, and some which have memories. I find myself singing and listening to these songs often.