Swimming Nationals brings next wave of Olympic hopefuls to Edmonton

summer nats_swimming

EDMONTON  – Swimming Canada and the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club will be co-hosting the 2012 Summer National Championships at the Kinsmen Sport Centre from July 19-22. The event will welcome over 400 Canadian swimmers representing 150 clubs across Canada.

“The Summer National Championships in Edmonton will see some of our next wave of Olympic level athletes shine as they aim to qualify for our Senior development team and Junior Pan Pacific teams,” said Pierre Lafontaine, CEO and National Coach for Swimming Canada. “We’re focused on building the next generation of Canadian swimming heroes today. Having the Olympic Games around the corner will surely spark the dream of being in that arena in four years.”

Local favorites such as Kier Maitland, 23, of the Keyano Swim Club, who has represented Canada internationally over the years and was most recently the silver medalist in the 1500 (m) freestyle at this year’s Canadian Olympic Swim Trials in Montreal, and teammate Richard Funk, with two silver medals in the 100 and 200 M breaststroke events from this same meet.

Keyano’s youngest up and comer Lili Margaitai, a top nationally ranked 14 year-old as well as other Edmonton area swimmers Nadine Williams, 18, from the Silver Tide Swim Club out of Sherwood Park, one of Canada’s top open water swimmers, young sprint freestyle protégé that now trains aside former World Champion Brent Hayden, Luke Peddie, 18, and Page Kremer, 15, from the Olympian Swim Club will all be looking to qualify for one or more of Canada’s International Teams.

These teams include the Junior Pan Pacific Championship’s August 23-26, 2012 held in Pearl City, Hawaii, 3 different Australian Tours, January-April 2013, and the Canadian Senior Development Team traveling to the US Open in August 2012 led by Past Olympic Coach Dean Boles.

Circle of Excellence Honoring Canada’s Past Champions in the Pool

Saturday and Sunday night will welcome inductees into Swimming Canada’s Circle of Excellence. This prestigious award recognizes swimmers who have achieved a Gold Medal at theCommonwealth Games, Pan American Games, or Short Course World Championships; a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal at the Olympics or Long Course World Championships. Past inductees include Keyano Alumni Cheryl Gibson, and Keltie Duggan who will both be in attendance at this year’s meet. This year’s inductee’s include Graham and Becky Smith of the “Swimming Smith’s” on Saturday Night and Wendy Johnson nee Quirk on Sunday Night.

As arranged by our Co-Meet Manager, long time Keyano Volunteer and Order of Canada recipient Ollie Currie, each evening’s finalists will be marshaled out by former Keyano Olympians, George Nagy (1980), Chris Bowie (1992), Keltie Duggan (1988) and Donna Cole nee McGinnis (1984 & 1988).

Swimmingduring this weekend runs daily Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with preliminaries starting at 10:00AM and finals at 6:00PM.

Opening Ceremonies will be Thursday, July 19th starting at 5:45PM with MP Tim Uppal, Minister of State, MLA Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture andCommunity Services and Brian Anderson City Councilor from the City of Edmonton delivering greetings on behalf of the country, province and city.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.