A couple years ago, Kaylin Swart received a call with an opportunity that was too good
to pass up. She was getting ready for her third season tending goal for the Menace,
when she was invited to join the South African national team for the 2016 Olympics.
Just like that, she was back in her home country in early June. The whirlwind summer took her to Chicago in July
for the first-ever match between the women’s teams from South Africa and the United States (the USWNT won, 1-0).
In August, Swart was in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games. After close losses to Sweden and China,
South Africa finished its group play with a scoreless draw against host Brazil.
A recent college graduate, Swart is back for her third season with the Menace. She’s reunited with fourth-year
Menace head coach Justin Vorster, a South Africa native who coached her in AIB College’s final season, in 2014.
They just call me “Kay.”
September 30, 1994
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
I started at AIB here in Des Moines, then transferred to Menlo College in Atherton, California.
I just graduated in May with a degree is sports management and marketing.
I started with the South African national team at the U17 level, then on to the U20s. When I was 16,
I got my first experience with the senior national team when I was invited to training camps as a pool player.
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THE 2016 OLYMPICS
Living in the village in Rio was a great experience. The most memorable moment was meeting
Rafael Nadal, the tennis star. It was unreal just being in that environment.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA
The diversity and the people. Incredible history and culture. Everyone’s in unity.
We call it “Ubuntu” – it means togetherness, and it describes the South African people.
LASTING IMPRESSIONS FROM THE 2010 WORLD CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA
Our country was literally at a standstill for the duration of the tournament. It showcased the beauty of
South Africa – the whole experience. I got to go to a couple games – I saw Paraguay and Chile in my
hometown and then in Johannesburg, I saw USA and Ghana.
PREDICTIONS FOR THIS SUMMER’S WORLD CUP
I think Belgium and France are the teams to watch. I’m pulling for England;
I follow the EPL real closely and I’m a big Liverpool fan.
PROSPECTS FOR PLAYING IN THE 2019 WORLD CUP
I’ll be back in South Africa in August, and World Cup qualifiers start in October. There’s only three spots for Africa
in next year’s World Cup. We’ve got a young, hungry team, and I think we’ve got a shot.
WHY’D YOU COME BACK TO THE MENACE?
They’re part of my family. I’ve been away for three years, and I wanted to come back.
If it wasn’t special, I wouldn’t be here. It feels good to be back.
Thanks, Kaylin, and we’re glad to have you back on our team!
Story posted Thursday, June 7, 2018
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