Izaak Bastian is still in college. He’s just 20 years old. And he’s already the Bahamas’ record holder in the breaststroke in the 50, 100 and 200 meters.
And now Bastian has been presented with another opportunity, traveling to Tokyo to compete in the Summer Olympics. He’s realistic — earning a medal is likely well out of reach at this point in his career. But the chance to participate and talk with world-class swimmers can only help Bastian’s career.
“I’m there to have the experience,” Bastian said. “I’m not really suited to medal or anything, but I just want to go there and just represent my country and FSU as best as I can. And meet some really nice people. I’ve heard it’s just a great experience meeting all the people there, it’s a lot of the most elite athletes in the world that gather in one place.”
Bastian is part of a five-person contingent of FSU swimmers and divers who will be traveling to Tokyo, a group that also includes Julio Horrego (Honduras), Ida Hulkko (Finland), Emir Muratovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina) and diver Katrina Young (U.S.). They are among the more than two dozen Seminoles who will be competing or coaching in the Olympics between Friday and early August.
For Bastian, he is among the youngest competitors of the group from FSU. But he also has experience around the globe, including the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. Bastian also owns a pair of FSU records in the 100 breaststroke (51.84) and 200 breaststroke (1:53.81). A trip to the Olympics will offer momentum for the year ahead, Bastian says.
“I think it’s going to help build my confidence a good bit because, once again, I’m there with the greatest athletes in the world,” Bastian said. “Knowing that I’m there with them, it kind of gives me the confidence to know I can get up and race anybody in the NCAA.”
Bastian will begin competition in the pool on Saturday in the prelims. The Olympics is a long course (50 meters) compared to the short course (25 yards) of high school and college pools. This means fewer turns for Bastian, who appears to excel when there are more flip turns.
“I could not be happier for Izaak,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “He truly deserves this. His work ethic, and attitude are second to none. He is a pleasure to coach. He also has a tremendous team around him, helping him every step of the way.”
Said Bastian: “Without Florida State, who knows where I would have been right now. I might not be on the team in the first place. I’m just very thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given here at Florida State.”
FSU’s competitors, coaches in Tokyo
Diving – USA – Katrina Young – Women’s 10M platform; John Proctor – Team USA Coach
Swimming – Finland – Ida Hulkko – Women’s 100m breast; Bosnia & Herzegovina – Emir Muratovic – Men’s 100m free, Honduras – Julio Horrego – 100m breast; Bahamas – Izaak Bastian – 100m breast
Beach Volleyball – USA – Nick Lucena; Jason Lochhead – team USA coach
Soccer – USA – Casey (Short) Kruger; Canada – Gabby Carle
Softball – Canada – Kaleigh Rafter; Lonni Alameda – Canada Pitching Coach
Track & Field – Great Britain – Zak Seddon; Jamaica – Kimmy Williams; Australia – Linden Hall; Hungary – Istvan Szogi; Bahamas – Alonzo Russell; Belgium – Kevin Borlee, Jonathan Borlee, Anne Zagre; Netherlands – Susan Krumins; Ireland – Andrew Coscoran; Cayman Islands – Kemar Hyman
Women’s Basketball – Spain – Leonor Rodrgiuez and Maria Conde
Women’s Golf — Finland – Matilda Castren
Men’s Basketball – Nigeria – Luke Loucks – Assistant Coach