Princeton Profiles: Alex Lewis, using athletics to excel in academics

Princeton University junior Alex Lewis, a swimmer and computer science major, discusses his twin passions and how they relate. (Video by Daniello Alio, Office of Communications)

When Alex Lewis dives into the pool, he's focused on one thing: the mechanics of swimming. Since the age of 6, the Princeton University junior and computer science major from Greenwich, Connecticut, has used swimming as an outlet to clear his mind.

"I love swimming because it really allows me to be myself and just focus on myself for whatever time period is that I'm practicing," Lewis said. "It's one of those few activities where you're really just thinking about, you know, every single part of your body and how it's moving together in sync."

Lewis swims freestyle, butterfly and backstroke for the Princeton men's swimming and diving team.

According to Lewis, there is a clear relationship between his classwork and his passion for swimming. He believes he is excelling in his studies because of the sport.

"I think swimming forces you to manage your time efficiently, be on top of your work, stay organized," Lewis said. "My best grades and my best work is done when I'm swimming."

Lewis is also earning a certificate in technology and society through the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Keller Center. Lewis hopes to research issues related to cybersecurity through his junior independent work this academic year.

"I think my certificate, society and technology … really opened up my eyes to the kind of policy viewpoint of computer science," Lewis said.

Last season, Lewis helped Princeton win the 2016 Ivy League Championship. He earned second-team All-Ivy League honors in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay, and he finished with the fourth-fastest time in Princeton history in the 100-yard backstroke. He also earned All-America honors in the 200-yard freestyle relay at the 2016 NCAA Championships. In June, Lewis swam in the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.

"Princeton has taught me to swim for something greater than myself, and I would say that's what the Princeton swimming experience specifically is about," Lewis said "We really are having fun and that we are doing it for each other. It's been really special to have that."