It’s official. Canada will be sending a team of 27 swimmers to Rio 2016.
The team was announced at the conclusion of the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre on Sunday (more on Day 6 results below).
Leading the way is two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane, who is headed to his third Olympic Games. He has stated outright that his goal is to win a pair of medals in the 400m and 1500m freestyle events, as he did at last year’s world championships. Open water swimmer Richard Weinberger, who won bronze at London 2012, was also named after earning his spot at the 2015 FINA World Championships.
The team also includes world championship medallists Martha McCabe (200m breaststroke bronze, 2011), Hilary Caldwell (200m backstroke bronze, 2013) and Emily Overholt (400m IM bronze, 2015), as well as Santo Condorelli (4th in 100m freestyle, 2015).
If one thing was made clear by the last week of racing, it’s that the women are the deepest side of the Canadian squad, fielding 19 Olympic team members versus just eight men.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Caldwell. “I don’t want to swear right now but I’m so excited about, like the women’s team is by far and away the fastest we’ve ever had. We’ve got some amazing, amazing big hitters and some great relays and on the men’s side we’ve got less but strong, strong guys. So I’m really excited. It’s gonna be a great team.”
“I think the standards are harder and so instead of bringing people who can probably final, which are say get a second swim, I think its really hard,” said Cochrane. “I mean some of these swimmers were a second off in two races total and it’s devastating but we have to make those standards harder, so that you can get to those times here and get even better in the summer. We don’t have a lot of quantity on the men’s side but I think we have the quality and hopefully we can do better than we did last time.”
Notable rookies include new Canadian record holders Penny Oleksiak (100m butterfly, 100m freestyle) and Kylie Masse (100m backstroke). Turning 16 in June, Oleksiak is the youngest member of the swimming team and along with Taylor Ruck become Canada’s first Olympians born in 2000. Audrey Lacroix is the veteran of the squad, heading to her third Olympic Games after having made her world championship debut in 2001.
There are also a couple of second generation Olympians in Ashton Baumann, son of Los Angeles 1984 double gold medallist Alex Baumann, and Kennedy Goss, daughter of two-time medley relay silver medallist Sandy Goss.
Post via Canadian Olympic Committee