The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Sean Lee got into swimming following a near-death experience on vacation, and now he's the first in his family to play a sport on a competitive level. 

Credit: Son Nguyen

The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn men's swimming's Sean Lee 15 questions about his sport, his time at Penn, and life overall. Here's what the senior had to say.

1. Where are you from?

Los Angeles born and raised. 

2. How did you get into swimming?

I got into swimming because I almost drowned on a family trip when I was younger, and my mom threw me into swim lessons right after.

3. Do you have any history of sports in your family?

I don’t have a history of sports in my family. [I'm the] first to do any sport on a competitive level.

4. How did you end up choosing Penn?

I ended up choosing Penn because I knew it was the best combination of academics and athletics. I instantly connected with the guys on the team on my trip and knew the culture and school was perfect for me. 

5. What is your favorite stroke/event?

Butterfly, but I’m always ready to swim whatever event or race the team/coaches need me to do. 

6. How has COVID-19 impacted the team?

COVID obviously impacted the team in a lot of ways. Our season got canceled, we can't access any facilities at school because of COVID protocol, and everyone lost a year of eligibility unless they redshirted.

7. How has the team dealt with team spirit/camaraderie?

The camaraderie has not changed much. I'd say we're a pretty close-knit group, and we genuinely enjoy being around each other, so we do our best to catch up and talk whenever we can, but in-person interactions are obviously impacted and affected. We’re just trying our best to make the best of the current situation that's affecting all of us. 

8. Who do you look forward to competing against?

I look forward to competing against the best — just being a competitor. I always want to associate myself with the best whenever possible.

9. Who is your favorite swimmer of all time at Penn?

Mike Schnur

10. Chlorine or salt water?

Salt water

11. What’s your favorite food?

Mexican food 

12. Who is your favorite professional swimmer?

Michael Phelps

13. What’s your favorite TV Show?

"Peaky Blinders"

14. Who is your favorite music artist?

Travis Scott

15. What are your favorite classes at Penn?

REAL 204 at the moment.