One of the pioneers of Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan is back on island and although he didn’t take the plunge in last July 10’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series, Daisuke Fitial is just content in basking in the atmosphere of swimming competition again.
The 21-year-old incoming junior at Linfield University said he’s on summer vacation on Saipan and will go back to Oregon in July 28.
“It’s great to be back. It’s always great to see the younger generation continue the traditional that [Tsunami Saipan] coach Hiro [Kimura] started and it makes me happy to see everyone enjoy the sport of swimming,” said Fitial, who is taking up BS Exercise Science in college.
He said he only has fond memories swimming for Kimura and Tsunami Saipan and even won the most improved in kicking award in 2008 during the then-fledgling swimming club’s first-year anniversary.
“I started swimming when I was 5 years old just for safety purposes. And then I actually joined Tsunami Saipan when I was 6 years old until I was 8 years old. Then I moved to the States in 2008 in Oregon and then I’m back now.”
Fitial said aside from a short vacation in 2010, he really hasn’t spent a lot of time back home since moving to the U.S. mainland in 13 years ago.
“I miss the people, the camaraderie, and the tradition that coach Hiro started,” he added.
For his part, Kimura said Fitial swam with Tsunami Saipan until he moved to the Oregon when he was 9 years old.
“I and Daisuke have been to Guam Championships in 2008. What I am truly happy about is that he has been swimming in the States. Immigrating and continuing the sport of swimming in the mainland is so hard. The hardships of his parents are immeasurable, and I think Daisuke himself also had a hard time. I am impressed with their efforts,” said Kimura.
The usually stoic Tsunami Saipan coach said he’s always overwhelmed with emotions whenever he sees one of his swimmers return to Saipan and meet up with him.
“How lucky am I as a swimming coach to have a reunion with one of my swimmers after 13 years,” he said.
To somehow makeup for not swimming the last time out, Fitial is expected to take part in this weekend’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series set this Saturday in the waters off Civic Center Beach.
“Daisuke registered in the 1,500m. I’m so excited to see current Tsunami Saipan swimmers competing with Daisuke!” said Kimura.