My name is Daniela De Faria and I am part of the University of Florida Synchronized Swimming team, Gator Synchro. Coming from a foreign country, I had absolutely no idea which university was right for me, but I did know that I wanted to keep swimming at a competitive level for as long as I could. After being part of Brazil’s Junior National Team and becoming a 2011 Age Group National Champion, I believed that a varsity program was the perfect fit for me, but as time went by, I realized that I needed to choose a school not solely based on their synchro program, but also based on the college’s educational level, especially because I want to attend law school in the near future.
After swimming with Gator Synchro for a year, I have improved immensely, not only as a swimmer, but also as a student. I am very fortunate to be part of a team that allows me to balance my studies and extracurricular activities. As a top club team, our swimmers are extremely passionate and dedicated, which has enabled us to rank amongst the top teams in Collegiate Nationals last year. Also, Gator Synchro has had swimmers who were part of the US National Team in the past, and our very own coach, Betsy Caza, was part of the Ohio State Synchronized Swimming Team, while being a member of the US National Team for several years. But aside from rigorous practices and competitions, our team is extremely close and we are always willing to help one another. To me, Gator Synchro is my home away from home, and I am so blessed to have a coach and teammates that are so welcoming and understanding!
The University of Florida is extremely supportive of our team, and we even get to present at the President’s house during homecoming week. It is something very special and unique that our team gets to do during the fall semester, and the President along with his family really enjoy it, especially because his wife is a former synchronized swimmer! I really liked presenting at the President’s house last year and getting to know a side of my university that not many students will get to experience throughout their school years.
I am really looking forward to the upcoming season, and I am very excited that Gator Synchro gets to host regionals this year. We would like to wish all of the teams the best of luck and we hope to see everyone at Collegiate Nationals next semester!
STRENGHT, PRIDE, HONOR, HEART, TEAM!