Canadian artistic swimmers earn Olympic berths

Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after winning gold at the Pan American games in Peru.

After failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics four years ago, the Canadian artistic swim team is on its way to the Tokyo Olympics next year. This year, the team was rejuvenated by new coaches and choreographers and have been working intensely to bring something new and exciting with dynamic moves and big lifts. Last weekend, at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, the team dazzled the world and made their dreams a reality.

Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner swam to gold in the duet event, posting a personal-best score and blowing away the second-place team from Mexico by six points. 

“Before we swam, our coach [Gabor Szauder] was like, ‘Jackie, go for a second Olympics,’ and ‘Claudia, become an Olympian.’” 

The duet started swimming together in 2017 and have developed a pre-competition ritual that keeps them grounded before they hit the water. It seems that ritual has just made them Olympians. 

Later in the week, Simoneau and Holzner returned as part of Canada’a nine-swimmer squad for the team competition. Once again, Team Canada’s precise and powerful movements were right on point. They came away with the gold again, and will be performing their routine on the Olympic stage.  

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