Olympian and national record holder Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands will be making the move from her present home at the University of Tennessee to join the Dutch NTC squad in Amsterdam come this December. With the backstroke specialist’s NCAA eligibility having already concluded, Toussaint is finishing up her Kinesiology degree before heading to her home country to fully kick-off her Tokyo 2020 journey.
“I’m very excited to be closer to my family and friends,” the 23-year-old former Tennessee Volunteer told SwimSwam. “But, I am forever grateful for the coaches at Tennessee.
“It was a very hard decision,” continued Toussaint. “I wanted to have a steady place to train until Tokyo 2020, without having to worry about staying in America.”
Toussaint is an overall 8-time All American, who originally started her college career as a Florida Golf Coast University student-athlete before transferring to Tennessee in 2015. She holds the Dutch national records across the short course 50m and 100m backstroke events, the former of which she set this past summer competing at the World Cup Berlin stop.
At the 2016 Short Course World Championships in Windsor, Toussaint’s highest finish came in the 50m back, where she finished 9th overall and just out of the final. Toussaint was also a 2016 Olympian, finishing 18th in the 100m backstroke in Rio.
Among the athletes already stationed in Amsterdam under Head Coach Mark Faber are Dutch national record holders Mathys Goosen and Arno Kamminga. Elite swimmers Tessa Vermeulen, Tes Schouten, Kinge Zandringa, Valerie van Roon, Ben Schwietert and Thom de Boer also call the Amsterdam NTC home.
Next on Toussaint’s competitive agenda are two meets in Italy, including Bolzano on November 4th and 5th, as well as the Nico Sapio Swimming Trophy in Genoa November 10-12th.