Toussaint splashes into success at FGCU
In only two years at Florida Gulf Coast University, sophomore Kira Toussaint has made an incredible impact on swimming. During that time, she has become one of FGCU’s most decorated swimmers.
She is very happy that she can work and be on a team at FGCU. Growing up in Amstelveen, Netherlands, she never was really able to swim on a team. Now, she has that opportunity to swim for the Eagles.
“It kind of was cool to swim on a team,” Toussaint said.
She was persuaded to come to Florida for the nice, warm weather. She had also never previously heard about any school in America.
“I decided like a month before the start of my freshman year to go to America,” Toussaint said.
Toussaint isn’t the only terrific athlete in her family. Her parents were both terrific swimmers in their own right. Her mother, Jolanda de Rover, won a gold medal in the 200 meter backstroke at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Even though she is the daughter of an Olympic champion, her parents wanted her to try other sports. They never pushed Toussaint to follow their paths in swimming.
As a freshman, Toussaint had an incredible start to her FGCU career. She was the first swimmer from FGCU to be named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-America Team. Toussaint was also named Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Swimmer of the Year. Toussaint finished th at the NCAA Championships in 100 back and 12th in the 200 race in 2014.
Toussaint also became the first swimmer in CCSA history to appear in an NCAA final in 2014. She was also named the Most Outstanding Freshman Performer and Most Outstanding Female Swimmer of the 2014 CCSA Championship Meet after her victories in the 200 freestyle, 100 back and the 200 backstroke. Toussaint also was named CCSA Swimmer of the Week during the week of Nov. 27 of her freshman season at FGCU.
According to FGCU Athletics, Toussaint also has set eight FGCU program swimming records, including a personal best 51.68 in the 100 back at the 2014 CCSA in Athens, Georgia.
Toussaint is also very appreciative of FGCU coach Neal Studd and the coaching staff. They helped her become the terrific swimmer that she is today for FGCU.
“Neal’s a really nice person to everybody,” Toussaint said.
Being an athlete in college is not so easy. They have to put in the time to become the best they can be in their sport. Toussaint said that the swimmers at FGCU usually have 10 practices during a normal week. Each one of those practices last for roughly two hours. This means, the swimmers at FGCU may swim up to 28 miles during a week at practice.
Most athletes have a role model they look up to. One famous athlete that Toussaint looks up to is another swimmer from the Netherlands named Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Toussaint talked about Kromowidjojo winning two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Toussaint hopes to lead the Eagles to more success in swimming this season. The Eagles recently were ranked as high as No. 24 in the SwimSwam.com NCAA Women’s Power Rankings. This marks the third different FGCU program this semester to achieve a national ranking in its sport.