His Story: Calvyn Dylin Justus

Tell us more about yourself?

Hello! My name is Calvyn Dylin Justus and I'm 19 years old. I was born in Benoni, Johannesburg on 14th December. I have 2 sisters, Cherisse and Kayleen. An interesting fact about myself would be that I have a brown belt in Karate.

My passion? Well to be completely honest I’m still trying to figure out who I am, therefore, my interests are constantly changing but I guess the most consistent things about me is my love for swimming and content creation!

What do you love about the place you reside in?

I’m currently living at home in Durban, South Africa. I love the beach lifestyle and laidback community although I don’t see myself living in this city forever.

Do you have any favorite location you love to film and photograph in?

Two of my favourite locations would be cities and forests. Cities definitely being my absolute favorite!

When you view yourself, what is something that you hope to change but probably would never happen?

I think I could be a lot better with time management, I always find myself running out of time. But hey, who has time for that anyway! Hahaha ;)

Share with us an awkward moment in your life that you have lived through to tell the tale?

In middle school, I was convinced I would get the part of Tin-man in The Wizard Of Oz production. Of course, I told my friends and teachers to watch me audition. However,  come the day of auditions and it was my chance to get up on stage in front of the class and sing a song, I completely froze and resorted to doing the robot off stage with tears in my eyes, definitely not my finest moment!

“I love art and I hope to one day reach a level where my work is some what considered as "art". How do you define this? 

I don’t think it’s for me to define but rather the audience that view my work and how they choose to interpret it and whether they would consider it as “art”, which I can only hope one day they do.

If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would that be and why? 

Kurt Cobain (lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana) when he was alive just because I think it’d be so interesting. 

Okay, moving on to your love for swimming. What made you decide to become a professional swimmer for your country?

I just want to achieve the goals I set out when I began the sport. 

Do your family and friends support you and have they attended all your meets?

Yes! I have huge support from friends and family, but they don't attend all my meets! I like just going by myself and then letting everyone know how I did after.

What are the sacrifices you have to make you successful in what you do?

You sacrifice a ton in the sport- late nights, parties, weekends, holidays and sometimes even college/university.

We understand that being an athlete requires you to have a strict diet so that you can be in your best form. What do you consume daily to maintain your healthy body weight? 

With swimming you can basically eat whatever you want and as much of it as you like due to all the training we do, obviously we try stay as healthy as possible but you’ll find me at MacDonalds or Burger King every now and then. 

If you could have any occupation in the world other than being a pro-athlete, what would you be?

Maybe a singer? But if you heard me sing you’d know why that’s never going to happen! 

What is your best stroke and how long did you take to master it?

Freestyle. I think I’m still learning, only the world record holder could say he/she has mastered a race. 

We understand that you train at Seagulls Swimming Club with coach Graham Hill. How is he like as a coach and has your team pulled a prank on him before?

He is one of the best in the world and by far the best in South Africa. To be honest, no one would dare pull a prank on him unless they feel like swimming butterfly with no rest for 2 hours!

Who are your role model(s) when it comes to swimming?

I look up to my team mates Chad Le Clos and Myles Brown as well as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Cameron Mcevoy. I wouldn’t say I idolize any of them though; I just respect them as sportsmen.

We watched the entire swimming event during the London 2012 Olympics and one of the highlights of the competition was the swim that Chad Le Clos did! He was able to beat his idol, Michael Phelps.

Ever since then, the South African swim team has been performing really well at international meets. Do you think that win has kept a good morale in the team and motivates everyone to work even harder to excel?  

Yes definitely! I think it made the country realize that we’re just as good if not better than the rest of the world!

 Did you watch that race back in 2012? What were your thoughts then?

Of course! We knew Chad had a shot but obviously when it happened I was ecstatic, it still hasn’t sunk in! His win has motivated me and increased my determination in swimming!

Oh before we forget, congratulations on your medals for the Men’s 100m and 200m Freestyle relay at the 2014 Commonwealth Games! Was it very tough preparing for the competition?

The training was really tough, I really enjoyed the Commonwealth Games though, it was a huge moment in my life. Before meets, I train, train and train some more! Having Olympians on the team helps a lot in terms of advice and experience as well!

What is your go-to routine before each of your races (individual and the relays)?

I don’t really have a routine, I like to stay calm and chilled whilst not really thinking about the race too much.

When it boils down to the competition, do you enjoy positive rivalries with your opponents and teammates?

I love the pressure and atmosphere of a big race, at the end of the day its supposed to be fun so I try not take it too seriously and focus more on enjoying it.

Could you shed some light on your experience at the Games and the athletes’ village? Also, have you forged any new friendship(s) with athletes from various countries? Who are they and how are they like?

During competition its fairly normal, everyone just rests and eats but when it’s over, well It’s as crazy and wild as you’d imagine it to be! What happens in the village stays in the village ;).

As for new friendships, I probably have a swimming friend in each country! I’ve met and competed against almost all the best swimmers and have gotten to know a couple quite well but I’d definitely say my team mates from South Africa are my best friends.

While you were at training camps, you must have been hanging out with your teammates quite a fair bit, who do you normally chill/swim with?

I was rooming with my teammate Myles Brown majority of the travels this year and also Kevin Paul and Chad, I also room with Clayton Jimmie often. We all hang out though; everyone on the team is my friends.

Caspar Lee was one of your inspirations for the creation of your YouTube channel back in 2013. What did he do then that inspire you? Do you have other Youtubers that you watch religiously?

I just loved the idea of being able to connect with people throughout the world, I also loved the idea of being able to entertain millions of people at the same time and Caspar did all these things.

Of course, they would be Casey Neistat, Jacksgap, Will Darbyshire and Tim Kellner. 

Could you share with us the story on how you ended up collaborating with Caspar Lee?

Our version of “Spring Break” held a competition to stay with Caspar and feature on his channel, the requirement would be to create a video about the festival. I won and stayed with Caspar for a week, the video and everything involved was all up to him as it was for his channel!

Do you think there would be a collaboration with him soon?

Yea I’d definitely love to, It’s a bit tough with him living in London and me in Durban so we haven’t seen each other since then but we keep in touch, he’s a great guy.

Why did you decide to change your style of filmmaking in 2013?

I just felt like it wasn’t me and that I wasn’t being true to myself so I decided to ditch the style I had and try create a style that best represented me and that I loved creating and I’m still busy with that process but I’m definitely enjoying my content as of late a lot more! Right now I’m in my experimenting phase and trying out what ever comes to my mind.

It is pretty cool how you incorporate your passion for swimming in your filmmaking, why did you decide there is a need to create such films?

I just create films of stuff I want to share with the world or ideas and thoughts I want to express, I felt like I could make some pretty relatable swimming videos being a swimmer so I thought “why not” – I enjoy making them as well. 

For the film, I thought of all the funny things swimmers do and how it would be an interesting video for people outside the sport to watch. It would almost be like a behind-the-scenes of some sort, so I got some friends together and wrote down all the stuff we think swimmers do that they could also relate to.

We loved your film “Solivigant”! It showcases a different type of film not normally seen on channel.  Why did you want to create such an abstract film? Could you talk us through your creative process on this film?

I was inspired by a film called “Sunday” by Will Darbyshire and absolutely loved it; it’s still probably my favorite video. I wanted to create something like that of my own and add my own style and ideas and so “Solivagant” was created.

What equipment do you use to shoot and film?

Canon G7X and iPhone 5s.

Why did you decide to improve your photography skills and how do you capture your beautiful images?

I just discovered a passion for photography and put more effort into capturing photos I thought would be interesting to see.

Also, I guess practice and taking photos of everything you think looks “cool”. I can sometimes take up to 100 photos in a day and only like 1 or 2.

What do you want to convey through your photographs?

I would love for people to see them and feel as intrigued and fascinated as I feel when I see a great photo.

Among your Instagram feed, which photograph is your favourite and why so?

It will be this one of myself standing in front of the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium in my city: Durban.

Do you have any Instagram accounts that you look up too?

Tons! Here are some of my favorites: @ameliamiya, @bernaleeviljoen, @minimal_people, @bydavina, @artofvisuals, @samalive, @catherinekhom and 100s more!!

In terms of your creative outlets (YouTube channel and photography), what are your future goals?

I’m still so new to both fields. I feel like my goals at the moment are just to grow and improve as much as I can! 

What are you looking to accomplish with your swimming career especially since next year is Rio 2016?

Qualifying for the Olympics is my number one goal, after that well we will see, but right now that’s my sole focus.