Kylie Masse returns with 3 Olympic medals, looks to make a splash with young swimmers
‘I could feel the love and support from back home,’ LaSalle, Ont., swimmer says of time in Tokyo
Kylie Masse has just returned home to LaSalle, Ont., with three medals from Tokyo 2020, but is already looking to make a splash as a role model to other swimmers.
The 25-year-old earned two silver medals, for the 100-metre and 200-metre backstroke, as well as a bronze medal for the 4x100-metre women's relay.
While family and friends were barred from attending the Olympics this summer because of strict COVID-19 protocol, Masse said she felt the support back in Canada.
"It's really special to be from a small town, and I am so grateful that they're so supportive of me and the sport and the Olympics in general."
This was Masse's second Olympics. She said she noticed a significant difference in her growth and ability to manage challenges since 2016 in Rio, where she won bronze in the 100-metre backstroke.
Masse aims to serve as a great example to young people.
"I remember how much I looked up to the older athletes on the team in 2016, so I try to be the best role model as possible," Masse said.
"It's really heartfelt and special to be a role model. I'm not the most vocal or outspoken person, but I like to be a role model in just how I act and how I go about my daily life."
WATCH: Kylie Masse on her Olympic progress and growth from the 2016 to 2020:
She has also noticed a resurgence in competitive swimming, particularly among young people, since her win in 2016.
"We saw the momentum and the impact that women had in sport then, and I think we've carried that throughout these last five years," Masse said. "I truly hope that it's helped someone that was not sure they wanted to get into swimming and any sport."
Masse isn't just an accomplished Canadian athlete. She has academic goals too, recently earning an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from the University of Toronto that took her seven years to complete.
She intends to pursue a master's degree, but says she'll spend the rest of this year relaxing and reflecting on her goals.
With files by Peter Duck