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@School: Michael-Anne 'Annie' Myrvang

Dec. 7, 2008 — Good Hope School senior Michael-Anne "Annie" Myrvang loves adventure, and what she aspires to do will more than likely lead her to adventures in China. The champion swimmer had aspirations of going to the Beijing Olympics representing the Virgin Islands, but due to an illness she went as a spectator instead.
"Going to China really opened my eyes to the situation environmentally and socially in China," Myrvang said. After she gets her Ph.D. and settles down, she would like to adopt a Chinese baby.
The 17-year-old said she hopes to get accepted at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, where she wants to study Chinese language, peace-and-conflict studies or environmental studies.
A goal of hers is to speak Chinese fluently. She is already studying the Chinese language with the Rosetta Stone program as a credited class at Good Hope. During her interview with the Source, she spoke some Chinese.
Myrvang brightens up a room with a broad smile that just reaches out and grabs you, and she has a charming personality to match her smile.
Myrvang moved to St. Croix with her parents Steve and Joann Myrvang from Seattle, Wash., when she was 11 years old. They all looked at the move as an adventure. She said she has always been close to her parents, and they stuck together during the move.
"It was an easy transition since this is such a nice place," Myrvang said. She misses her friends back in Seattle, but she talks to them weekly, telling them of her cool adventures on St. Croix.
Her love of water and swimming helped her transition easily into island life on St. Croix.
"As soon as I got in the water I really loved it and focused my attention on swimming after the move here," she said.
Myrvang began swimming competitively with the Marlins swim team when she was 12 years old. She was home-schooled from seventh through tenth grade, allowing for rigorous training with practice that began at 4:45 a.m., swimming 60 miles a week during 13 practice sessions. In the eighth grade she joined the St. Croix Dolphins swim team out of Country Day School.
She competes in the 400-meter and 200-meter individual medley, and the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle and butterfly. She is working on perfecting her back stroke and breast stroke.
In 2007 she qualified for the Pan Am Games, but was not able to compete because she became very ill with gluten hypersensitivity, an allergy to flour.
As a result of her allergy, she has come up with a recipe for gluten-free, hot-and-spicy brownies. As her senior project she has developed a business plan to sell Island Annie's Spicy Brownies. She plans to begin marketing the brownies locally soon.
Myrvang stands out intellectually as well as athletically.
"I love learning and school and want to go as far as possible," she said.
She is in the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars. She maintains a 4.0 average and is on the High Honor Roll at Good Hope.
"Annie is dedicated and hard-working, but what sets her apart from other straight-A students is her love for the learning process itself," said Ned Washburn, chair of the English department at Good Hope. "Annie loves to learn and she shows it with her persistent questioning in class."
If and when she has spare time, Myrvang enjoys, reading and writing short stories and watching documentaries.
"I enjoy documentaries because I like to find out what is going on in the world," she said. "My friends say, 'Annie, you're such a dork,' but I'm pretty secure with my dorkiness."
Myrvang would like to find a good balance between academics and swimming in NCAA Division III in college. And she would love to qualify for the next Summer Olympics in London in 2012.
"Above all Annie is kindhearted and in the future her ethical compass will direct her in socially productive and beneficial directions," Washburn said.
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