Synchronized swimming events to start Tuesday, February 22, for 103 athletes

Practice session in the synchro pool at the Canada Games Centre

Halifax, February 21, 2011 – Synchronized swimming athletes begin competition at the 2011 Canada Games tomorrow in the all new Canada Games Centre in Halifax.

“Each province has sent its ten best swimmers to this event. The level of competition is very high”, said Alberta head coach, Jennifer Tregale. “This event is unique in that it’s the only Canadian event where athletes from the 13-15, junior and senior age groups compete together.”

For some athletes, this multisport event is the highlight of their career, their mini-Olympic Games, whereas for others, it’s a test that will orientate the rest of their career.

“Several of the athletes here this week will ask themselves if they want to pursue the commitment required to participate Canada Games over the last few months, but with the goal of making the national team”, said British Columbia head coach, Susan Kemper.

Eight members of the 2010 13-15 national team in action Quebec will attempt to continue its victory streak at the three last Canada Games (1999, 2003 and 2007). At the last Games, Ontario took second ahead of Alberta in third.

“Our goal is to continue the tradition”, said Quebec head coach Nathalie Lagrange and coach/manager Karine Doré.

Quebec’s team is composed of five of the 12 members of the 13-15 national team, including Jacqueline Simoneau.

At the 2010 Espoir National Championships, the 14 year-old took home five medals in as many events and won the award for most points in the Tier 6 competition (15 and under). As part of the 2010 13-15 national team at Comen Cup in Greece last July, Simoneau took 3rd place in the figures competition, 4th in the team competition and gold in the solo event. In the duet, Synchro Canada’s 2010 Athlete of the Year will form a pair with her Comen Cup partner Anne-Marie Chouinard with whom she won silver at the 2010 Comen Cup.

Other athletes competing at the 2011 Canada Games that were part of the 2010 13-15 national team include Jordan McKenzie and Kali Wong from Alberta, Olivia Zawadiuk from British Columbia, Alina Ryssina from Ontario and Mathilde Sauvé and Natasha Bernier from Quebec.

Several well-known synchronized swimmers competed at the Canada Games, including olympic medallists Penny and Vicky Vilagos (1979), Michelle Cameron (1983), Lisa Alexander (1983), Erin Woodley (1991) and Claire Carver-Dias (1995).

Athletes that participated in the 2007 Canada Games include Jo-Annie Fortin, Stéphanie Leclair, Camille Bowness, Marie-Lou Morin and Stéphanie Durocher from Quebec, as well as Emilia Kopcik from BC. Élise Marcotte (2003), Ève Lamoureux (2003) and Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon (1999), also current members of the national team, also graduated from the Canada Games.

Schedule for Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011:

8:00am – 9:00am        Warm-up

9:00am – 12:00pm      Figures (2 juries) (2 figures)

2:00pm – 5:00pm      Figures (2 juries) (2 figures)

6:55pm – 7:55pm      Solo preliminaries (first half)

8:20pm– 9:20pm       Solo preliminaries (second half)  

About Synchro Canada Synchro Canada is the national organization that governs synchronized swimming in Canada and that represents more than 130 clubs and 12 000 members all across Canada. A member of FINA, the world’s governing body of aquatic sports, Synchro Canada promotes the quest for excellence through the development of athletes and synchronized swimming ambassadors at all levels Synchro Canada would like to thank its sponsors and partners: Sport Canada, Own the Podium, B2Ten, the Montreal National Multi-Sport Centre, and its official providers: Speedo, AdUp, MKI Travel, National Car Rental. For more information, check out Synchro Canada’s website at www.synchro.ca or join us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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