Athlete of the Week: Brandon Tao

Name: Brandon Tao

School: Freedom High School

Year: Senior

Sport: Swim

Coach: Gina Vancil

About: Brandon Tao is an athlete born for the water. As part of both water polo and swim teams at Freedom, Tao has distinguished himself as a strong swimmer and team player. A veteran swimmer, Tao began swimming competitively at age five. He said, in addition to swim practice five days a week, he eats clean and works out to stay in shape.

“I like that swimming is an individual sport,” Tao said. “There are some team aspects, like if we win a meet, that’s a team effort. But really, it’s up to you. If you put in the work, you’ll see the results.”

Growing up, Tao’s father was in the army, and Tao had the opportunity to live in multiple countries, including Taiwan, Germany and Guam. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Mandarin, in addition to English. Currently, he lives in Oakley with his parents, and likes to eat at La Costa.

Future: Tao said he does not plan on swimming in college.

“I want to go to a four-year (school), study a STEM major, and right now I’m looking at being either a pilot or a doctor in the army,” Tao said, adding that he’s received offers from some Division III schools. “But I’m more focused on academics right now. I see a better future with that than swim.”

Coach’s quote: “Brandon has been such a great athlete to coach,” said Vancil. “His hard work and determination have led him to achieving the goals he set out to achieve this swim season. He is always striving to be better and put in the work to do so. He is a leader among his teammates and a pleasure to coach. I am so proud of him and all his accomplishments.”