26 athletes nominated to Canada's Olympic swimming team
16 women, 10 men comprise talented group balanced by youth, experience
Following a successful showing at the Canadian Olympic swimming trials in Toronto, Swimming Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced the 26 swimmers who will compete at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
The team is made up of 16 females and 10 males.
Reigning Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak headlines a group filled with both youth and experience. Veteran Brent Hayden cemented his monumental comeback by making the Olympic team after a seven-year hiatus away from the pool.
There are eight other returning Olympians on the Tokyo-bound squad, including Rio bronze medallist Kylie Masse and Katerine Savard, who will make her third-straight Olympic appearance.
"I trained really hard and honestly, I surprised myself," Savard said. "I didn't believe I had it in me to do everything I did this week. I'm proud of myself and can't wait to see what I can do in Tokyo."
16 of Canada's swimmers are set to make their Olympic debut.
Fourteen-year-old Summer McIntosh was named to the team on Thursday, making her one of the youngest Olympic swimmers to ever compete for Canada.
"I think the mix of veteran leaders and new faces is awesome," Masse said. "That's kind of how sport works, there are always older and younger athletes, and it's a great dynamic to have. I can't wait to actually be a team and to be together, and to be able to take on Tokyo as Team Canada."
WATCH | Tokyo-bound Canadian athletes prepare for quiet, controlled Olympics:
16-year-old swimmers Katrina Bellio and Tessa Cieplucha were also named to the team after capping off the final evening of the Canadian Olympic swimming trials in Toronto with strong performances.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Bellio said. "It's incredible to be 16 years old and to be nominated. I've completed my lifelong dream."
184 swimmers from 65 clubs in Canada competed for Olympic spots at the Canadian Olympic swimming trials.
Masse was given the female Swim of the Meet award after breaking her own Canadian record in the 100-metre backstroke with a time of 57.70.
Oleksiak was provisionally nominated to the Olympic team back in January along with Masse, Margaret Mac Neil, Taylor Ruck, Sydney Pickrem and Markus Thormeyer.
Swimming Canada's high-performance director and national coach John Atkinson praised the team while recognizing the importance of the announcement following a challenging selection process hindered by the pandemic.
"It's been the longest Olympic year on record. To get to the point that we can name our nominations to the Canadian Olympic Committee is a great step. The athletes who have made the team have shown their adaptability and resilience for the last 15 months and have shown that they are ready to compete with the best in the world," Atkinson said in a media release.
The team will head to Vancouver to complete their Tokyo preparations at the final staging camp at the UBC Aquatic Centre.
Canada won a total of six medals at the 2016 Olympics, where Oleksiak became the youngest Canadian Olympic champion and the first Canadian to win four medals at one Summer Olympics.
- Javier Acevedo — Scarborough, Ont.
- Bailey Andison — Smiths Falls, Ont.
- Katrina Bellio — Mississauga, Ont. (women's 1500m freestyle)
- Tessa Cieplucha — Oakville, Ont. (women's 400m individual medley)
- Ruslan Gaziev — Toronto
- Marie-Sophie Harvey — Trois-Rivières, Que.
- Brent Hayden — Mission, B.C. (men's 50m freestyle)
- Yuri Kisil — Calgary
- Finlay Knox — Okotoks, Alta. (men's 200m individual medley)
- Joshua Liendo — Markham, Ont. (men's 100m butterfly, 50-100m freestyle)
- Margaret Mac Neil — London, Ont. (women's 100m butterfly)
- Kylie Masse — LaSalle, Ont. (women's 100-200m backstroke)
- Gabe Mastromatteo — Kenora, Ont.
- Summer McIntosh — Toronto (women's 200-800m freestyle)
- Penny Oleksiak — Toronto (women's 100-200m freestyle)
- Sydney Pickrem — Halifax (women's 200m breaststroke + 200-400m individual medley)
- Cole Pratt — Calgary (men's 100m backstroke)
- Taylor Ruck — Kelowna, B.C. (women's 100m freestyle + 100-200m backstroke)
- Kayla Sanchez — Scarborough, Ont. (women's 50m freestyle)
- Katerine Savard — Pont-Rouge, Que. (women's 100m butterfly)
- Kierra Smith — Kelowna, B.C.
- Rebecca Smith — Red Deer, Alta.
- Markus Thormeyer — Delta, B.C. (men's 100-200m backstroke)
- Kelsey Wog — Winnipeg (women's 100-200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley)
- Hau-Li Fan — Burnaby, B.C. (open water)
- Kate Sanderson — Toronto (open water)