[Sarah Nader — email@example.com]
Who is your favorite pro swimmer?
Tarazi: I really look up to Matt Grevers. He’s from Illinois. He swam at Lake Forest. At Olympic trials in 2016, he ended up in eighth place after the semifinals in backstroke. They only take the top two for the Olympic team. He could have easily made the Olympic team in the finals, but he knew that he wasn’t in his top shape. He decided to give another kid a shot and scratched the event. The next summer he came back and won world championships. I think it’s so cool that he bounced back like that.
Being from Illinois, have you ever met him?
Tarazi: I have. I have swum with him kind of a lot because I go to Arena Pro Series and nationals and stuff like that.
Who is your biggest hero?
Tarazi: My dad (Marty Tarazi). My dad does so much for me, anything to make my life easier, and he’s always there to cheer me on and support me. So I love him for that.
What is something people wouldn’t know about you?
Tarazi: When I was 10 years old I played on an all-girls hockey team, and we won state.
What team were you on?
Tarazi: The Yellowjackets. I played for three years.
Do you have any nicknames?
Tarazi: I go by Val a lot, but a lot of people call me Tar because of Tarazi. It’s kind of funny because one of my friends at Barrington couldn’t pronounce my last name, so she just started saying Tar. Then it was Val-Tar. That’s kind of what happens.