Their Olympic fate known for nearly 10 months, Synchro Canada made it official on Wednesday morning in Montreal that Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas are headed to Rio 2016.
The syncro duet Olympic spot was earned at Toronto 2015 Pan American Games last July when Simoneau and Thomas were golden, while stealing Canadian hearts with their technical and free routines in Scarborough.
At the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, Simoneau and Thomas dominated the regional competition for the right to stand on top of the TO2015 synchro duet podium and claim the lone Olympic spot that was up for grabs. On Wednesday, their nomination was made official.
Two weeks after TO2015 Simoneau and Thomas went to the world championships, where they were sixth in the technical and seventh in the free routines, giving them a good look at what’s needed to challenge for a podium at the Olympic Games.
Recently the synchro stars took part in the unveiling of the Rio 2016 Team Canada collection by Hudson’s Bay, the kit that Canadian Olympians will wear during the Games.
Simoneau, 19, will be heading to her first Olympic competition, while 27-year-old Thomas heads to her second Games. At London 2012 Thomas was part of the team competition that placed fourth and just shy of an Olympic medal.
The synchronized swimming events – duet and team – take place from August 14 to 19 at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre of the Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro. Canada narrowly missed qualification for the team event.
Canada’s last Olympic duet medal arrived at Barcelona 1992 when Penny and Vicky Vilagos won silver. Canada’s last synchro medal overall was at Sydney 2000, a bronze in the team event. Synchro Canada has won eight Olympic medals in total.