By Rhonda Massad
The Canadian Synchronized Swimming Qualifiers saw Dollard Synchro’s 13-15-year-old Elite team place 4th out of 31 teams last week securing their spot as one of the top teams to watch at the upcoming Canadian Espoir Nationals in London, Ontario at the beginning of June.
Hosted by Quebec Excellence Synchro in collaboration with Synchro Quebec and Synchro Canada, the Canadian Qualifier Championships is the largest competition on the national calendar and features swimmers from the 13-15, junior (16-18) and senior age groups. The competition weeds out the best out of 400 of Canada’s top synchronized swimmers to determine who will qualify for a spot to compete in London, Ontario at the at the end of the season.
“I am very excited for June because I’m sure that we will kill it,” said Beaconsfield’s Olivia Raymond. “Even though we will probably push very hard during our swim, we always work as a team. My coach always says we need to give it our all because we know that the person next to you is giving their all.”
The team impressed the judges and entertained the audience with their highly energetic “ninja” themed routine, which they train upwards of 20 hours per week during the season.
“My dream is to go the Olympics one day. I believe that if I continue to work hard, I will get there,” Olivia stated.
Olivia’s mother, Louise Bachand, believes that having and following one’s passion is very important to the development of a child.
“This past year has proven to be a wonderful experience for Olivia; training with the 13-15 National Stream team, I have witnessed her swimming skills, mental strength, and physical endurance develop exponentially,” said the proud mother of two teenagers. “Despite the many hours of training while balancing schoolwork, Olivia has never complained or asked to skip out of practice. I have been extremely impressed with her level of dedication, persistence, and passion for the sport.”
Olivia discovered synchronized swimming at the local community pool where she has been part of a team for the last six years.
“She joined the winter synchro team at Dollard Synchro four years ago and has never looked back,” Bachand said. “I have always called Olivia my little mermaid. She has always loved the water and can spend hours at the pool.”
Good luck to the team!!