While the world has been in a state of uncertainty, something that has remained constant is the dedication and determination of Florida State Athletics. In this summer’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics, five Florida State coaches, 22 alumni, and two current FSU student-athletes had the incredible opportunity to travel to Tokyo to participate in the Olympics.
The current captain of the men’s Florida State Swimming and Diving team, Izaak Bastian represented his home, the Bahamas in this year’s Olympic Games competing in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breast. Bastian holds three national records for the Bahamas along with two FSU records.
Izaak was at home with his family when he found out that his federation selected him to go to Tokyo to compete. The announcement that day was one of the highlights of the whole experience.
“It was finally gratification to all of the hard work that I’ve been putting in the last couple of years,” Bastian said.
Going into the Olympics, Bastian did not have any expectations for himself. “I was just excited to go and be a part of something special. I was just happy to be there, supporting my teammates.” Bastian said, after stating that one of the most special moments for him was finally walking onto the pool deck to compete.
While at the Games, Bastian was reminded of his gratitude and appreciation for his family, coaches, teammates, and Florida State Athletics.
“Constantly having a training program that I know works for me was a confidence booster,” Bastian said. “Even throughout the summer, knowing I had coaches watching me and I had help from the athletic training staff even when we were out of season. All of the support systems they’ve had here really helped.”
After an unforgettable summer, Bastian is excited for his final year of swimming at Florida State. He is also looking forward to hearing back from multiple graduate schools where he will pursue athletic training.
“Getting back to this atmosphere is just something I don’t have at home,” Bastian said. He is excited to meet the incoming freshmen on the team and understands that this upcoming season will be a change of pace. When competing in international competitions, Bastian swims long course meters, but being back swimming for FSU means that he will be swimming yards, which will be more fast-paced.
Bastian and the Seminoles will begin the 2021-2022 season at the FIU TYR classic on October 8-9 in Miami and the Noles will return to host Auburn on October 15th.
Soccer player Gabby Carle also had an unforgettable summer in Tokyo. From Levis, Quebec, Carle became the fifth Florida State student-athlete to win Olympic gold. She has started and played in every soccer game at Florida State along with being on the Canadian National Team.
Competing in the Olympics was a dream come true for Gabby.
“I loved every second of it. It’s such a privilege to be there,” Carle said. “In a tournament there’s always highs and lows, personal and for the team.”
Her time in Tokyo was full of high intensity games including the last game against Sweden. The Canadian women soccer team won gold after beating Sweden 3-2 on penalty kicks.
“In the Swedish game for the final, it was up until the very last second,’ said Carle. “We didn’t know if we were going to win and it was such a stressful moment. But when we won like that, it’s one of the best moments.”
After winning Olympic gold, Gabby and her teammates went on the field to call family and friends to share the incredible news.
“It was a crazy experience, something you want to share with your loved ones,” Carle said.
When speaking about her experience in Tokyo, Carle recognized the impact that Florida State and Florida State Athletics has had on her soccer career.
“Florida State and Noles Soccer has made me the player I am,” Carle said. “Before the Olympic Games I was training in Tallahassee. Tallahassee is my home right now. Mark (Krikorian) made sure I was ready to go.”
Winning the gold for her country, Canada meant a lot to Carle and hopes that this win will inspire others.
Carle stated, “I’m very proud that we got to bring this back to Canada. It means a lot for Canada, but it also means a lot for the future generations to see that and believe it’s possible to do that too. I hope it inspired a whole generation.”
Carle is focused now on winning the National Championship for Florida State this fall and is looking forward to graduating this year and playing soccer professionally.
The motto of Florida State University is “Vires, Artes, Mores”, translating to strength, skill, and character. Both Isaak Bastian and Gabby Carle are remarkable examples of this motto. Bastian and Carle have not only displayed their talents as serious athletes but as dedicated students, trustworthy teammates, and genuine people who will continue to make a positive impact not only on Florida State, but the rest of the world.