Multi-national citizen Ali Galyer, who in 2018 declared for New Zealand as her sporting citizenship, will move to her adopted country to continue training toward the 2021 Olympic Games. Galyer flew to New Zealand on Monday.
“I decided to move to NZL after my NCAA career ended in March,” Galyer said of her decision. “I wanted to take the opportunity to go train in my home country which I have never done. I chose Coast because I got to interact with some of the coaching staff at World Championships last summer. I was very impressed and thought they could bring new things to the table for me. After swimming for Kentucky for my 4 years, I wanted a change of pace and change of scenery. I am excited to see what new things I can learn and for the new adventure ahead.”
Galyer was born in Brisbane, Australia and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She has New Zealand heritage through her father Roy who was born in Matamata and grew up in Te Puke and Tauranga. Galyer’s mother was born in Canada and is an Australian Citizen.
She will train at the Coast Swim Club in Auckland, New Zealand under head coach Michael Weston. Among others who train there is Helena Gasson. She shared the country’s domestic Swimmer of the Year award last season after breaking 7 National Records in butterfly and IM events.
Eve Thomas also represents the club in domestic competition, though she trains in Australia.
Galyer represented New Zealand last summer in both the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes. In the 100 back, she finished 30th in a time of 1:01.53, while in her specialty, the 200 back, she qualified for the semi-finals and placed 12th overall in 2:10.19. Her best time in that event is 2:09.77, which ranked her just outside of the top 25 in the world in 2018.
Galyer completed her collegiate career at the University of Kentucky in the spring, where she scored 80 points at the SEC Championships – a meet that wound up being the final one of her collegiate career after the NCAA Championships were canceled.
In early June, New Zealand declared ‘victory’ in the battle against the coronavirus, with life having essentially returned to normal there, at least domestically. New Zealand registered 1,534 coronavirus cases nationally with 22 deaths as of Monday, with no deaths reported since late May and only occasional new cases. Kentucky, meanwhile, has recorded almost 17,000 cases of the coronavirus and 615 deaths with a smaller population than New Zealand. While Kentucky has seen a slight uptick in new cases over the last few weeks, the climb has not been anywhere near as dramatic as other states.