More than 500 world-class swimmers will descend upon the new UBC Aquatic Centre on May 25-28 for the 54th Annual Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet. This marks a historic moment for UBC’s Aquatic Centre as well as the UBC Thunderbirds swimming program. For the first time a world class swim meet will be held in the brand new world-class facility. The magnitude of hosting this event is not lost on the home-team Thunderbirds.
“I’m really excited. This is the first big meet we’ll have in this pool and we’ve been getting some really awesome training in here,” says UBC Thunderbird and Rio Olympian Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson. “The legacy continues for this meet.”
The new home base for the Thunderbirds has drawn a star-studded cast of swimmers from Canada, the United States and around the world. Swimming fans in Metro Vancouver will get the chance to see the first long-course meet of the summer season, leading to the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary this July.
“You’re going to see some of your favourite Olympians from last year. We have a bunch of the national team members on the World Championship team this year,” says UBC Swimming Head Coach Steve Price. “We have some really talented juniors. The junior national team from both Canada and the US.”
Since 2007, the Zajac Foundation has been the title sponsor of this meet. Mel Zajac Jr. was a world-class swimmer who swam for Team Canada. Prior to becoming a sponsor in 2007, the Zajac Foundation supported a swim camp and clinic for young swimmers from around BC in the Interior.