German record-holder and Olympian Theresa Michalak, who signed with Florida last fall, arrives in the United States Thursday after some delays. Although it’s still unclear how soon she’ll be eligible to compete for the Gators, it appears the 2011 European Champion in the short-course 100 IM will begin training with Gregg Troy‘s program immediately.
Michalak told SwimSwam she would have four years of eligibility for Florida once she starts competing – her immediate standing with the NCAA is not currently known, but if she’s fully eligible, she could make her Gator debut as early as this weekend’s home dual with Florida Atlantic.
“I am so excited,” Michalak said, calling it “an honor” to represent Florida in competition.
Michalak specializes in the IM races, where she was the 2011 European Short Course champion in the 100-meter distance and broke the German record in the same event last December. She also competed for the German Olympic team in London in the 200 IM.
She’ll join a stellar IM program that has churned out stars like Ryan Lochte and Elizabeth Beisel in recent years.
“My biggest dream is to stand on the podium at the Olympic Games,” Michalak said. She credited her club coach for getting her to the Olympic level but expressed her excitement to see what a new training system could do for her career. “I am ready to try it out in Florida.”
Oh, and there was one more thing about Florida the German native was excited about:
“Palm trees, the sun, the beach,” Michalak said. “It will be awesome.”