In spring 2013 the Rice University swim team announced a new award in my honor. When I learned about this, I cried. My 2-1/2 year slump of no best times was extremely hard during my career at Rice, but with 4 weeks left to my senior season, I had what is still known as the "miracle swim" (Saturday 1/31/2009, 200 fly at LSU). My coaches and teammates couldn't explain it. It just happened. It was like the rain clouds had parted and suddenly the sun came shining through. I went on to swim multiple best times over the next 4 weeks. I felt like everything I touched turned to gold.
I'm humbled and honored with this legacy award. Here's part of the Rice press release:
This season a new accolade, the Natalie Kirchhoff Inspiration Award, was presented for the first time. The award, named after the former Owl swimmer and current tri-athlete, was for a singular moment of inspiration during the season. At the C-USA championship meet Erin Flanigan was sidelined with an illness so severe she had to sit out one of the days of the meet and had to have two IVs for dehydration. Not only did Flanigan return to the competition on the final day of the meet she won the rugged 1,650-freestyle with a 16:29.02 that is the second-fastest time in school history. The performance inspired the Owls to come from behind and win the conference team title.
Read the whole thing here.
Sharing The Victory Athlete Spotlight
Heart of an Athlete
Selected Attribute: Perseverance
Dictionary definition: "Maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly."
Natalie's definition: "Getting knocked down, but getting back up."
What encourages you to persevere: "The book Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus. We are going through this book in our swim team Bible study, and it is rocking my life. It talks about making the most of every opportunity and seizing your 'divine moments.' This has fueled and motivated me during the times I've felt down and out."
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Sharing The Victory is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes publication.
A Capitol Experience - Rice University Sports Information Writer, John Sullivan
WASHINGTON D.C. - The initial goal was simply to follow recent Rice graduate Michael Whitehead in his second round at the U.S. Open near Washington D.C. and, on the off-chance he made the cut, his subsequent rounds on Saturday and Sunday (June 18-19). Michael just missed making the cut, but it turned-out there was still time to improvise another Rice-related sports outing at the nation's capitol that weekend.
In fact it was almost on the steps of the Capitol Building itself...
Click here to read the entire press release.
Columbian chases Olympic dream - by Steve Walentik with the Columbia Daily Tribune
Columbian Chases Olympic Dream
After dealing with likely misdiagnosed thyroid condition, Kirchhoff ready to become pro triathlete.
After an up-and-down swimming career at Rice University that included dealing with a likely misdiagnosed thyroid condition, Columbia native Natalie Kirchhoff is set to become a pro triathlete who has her sights set on competing for the United States in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Interview with 1986 World Champion, Steve Brisbois
In this interview we talk about my story, overcoming obstacles, rising through the triathlon ranks and the importance of nutrition. To listen, click here. (length: 45 minutes)