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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Former Longhorn swimmer Caspar Corbeau to represent Netherlands in 2023 World Aquatics Championships

Andrew Zamora

As Texas graduate swimmer Caspar Corbeau wrapped up his training camp in Hungary, it was finally time to move to a bigger stage that would allow him to represent and honor his family’s culture. 

With metal music blasting through his headphones and designer sneakers on his feet, Corbeau will bring his talents to Japan on Saturday to compete for the Netherlands national team at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships. He hopes to qualify for another shot at becoming an Olympic medalist. 

As the grandson of Dutch immigrants who moved to the U.S. before his father was born, Corbeau said he attributes his choice to swim for the Netherlands to his dad. Both Corbeau and his father are birthright Dutch citizens.  

“When I was younger, my dad thought it would be helpful to have me a bit more well-rounded in terms of world culture and maybe visit places that I never would have had the opportunity had I not accepted to swim for (the Netherlands),” Corbeau said.

Corbeau’s dual citizenship works to his advantage, allowing him to stand out among a smaller pool of competitors. The Netherlands’ two fastest swimmers in each event are selected for the Dutch Olympic team, provided they reach the qualifying time at the World Aquatics Championships.

“If I swim to what I’m capable of, I should qualify for Paris,” Corbeau said. “The last few years have been learning experiences, and I think I’m finally ready to make that breakthrough.”  

In 2020, Corbeau went to the Tokyo Olympics to compete in the individual breaststroke events for the Netherlands. Corbeau swam times of 1:00.13 in the 100m breaststroke and 2:10.21 in the 200m breaststroke, but his performance did not qualify him for the semifinals for either event. 

However, Corbeau has significantly improved since he began swimming for the Longhorns; he has dropped from 52.90 to 50.49 in the 100m breaststroke and from 1:54.50 to 1:49.15 in the 200m breaststroke. During his time at Texas, Corbeau became a two-time national champion, 18-time All-American and 16-time Big 12 champion.

Corbeau credits his progress to the expertise of his teammates and head coach Eddie Reese, who he said pushed him to be the best athlete he can be.

“(I have) the competitors, some of the best in the world, train next to me every day,” Corbeau said. “And they’re able to step it up to the next notch and make you work hard even though you might not want to.”

Corbeau said his relationship with his teammates helped make him a better swimmer, even if it didn’t always lead to a medal. An impactful example that comes to mind for Corbeau was a 400m freestyle relay in his junior year, where the relay team won first place despite an overall loss. 

“It had an impact on me because it was not a meet (and) it was not my best performance,” Corbeau said. “But it’s one that I’ll treasure for a while because these moments (and relationships) are more important than the time or the medal.”

Corbeau will begin competition in Japan on Saturday, July 22, in the men’s 100m breaststroke event as he looks to emulate not only his father’s culture but the culture he has come to thrive in at Texas.  

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About the Contributor
Andrew Zamora, Senior Photographer
Andrew Zamora is a fourth year student from Austin, Texas, studying Athletic Training. He currently serves as one of the Texan's Senior Photographers.