December 27, 2010
By KELLY HINES
World Sports Writer
Thanks to a Hominy family, Simone du Toit is experiencing her first holiday season in Oklahoma.
A Southern Methodist University shotput and discus thrower from Johannesburg, South Africa, du Toit is spending Christmas break with teammate Kylie Spurgeon.
"It's a nice feeling to see my name under the Christmas tree on presents," said du Toit, whose name is pronounced Si-mo-nay du-TWAH. "I don't feel like I'm visiting. I feel like I'm supposed to be here."
The Spurgeons are doing Christmas big this year for du Toit, getting their first real tree and decorating their new home. Chuck and Tami Spurgeon moved to Hominy from Owasso, where Kylie was the Tulsa World's girls track athlete of the year in 2007 after setting a state record in the discus throw.
For the teammates, this year is Christmas Swap Part II. Spurgeon spent the 2009 holidays in South Africa, where Christmas is celebrated much differently.
"It's pretty much a summer day, really hot," du Toit said. "We're all outside in our bathing suits and barbecuing."
Du Toit has had to adjust to being thousands of miles from home, where she hasn't visited since summer break.
"It's the small things that I miss," she said. "Everything that reminds you and gives you that feeling of security and love, I feel like I've found that with Kylie's family."
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