Biography:

Despite growing up in Arizona, Taylor Ruck has wanted to represent Canada since childhood. When her family would visit her grandparents in Kelowna, she and her brother trained with the Aqua Jets, the same team her mother swam for as a teenager, prompting her Canadian dream. She had her first opportunity to wear the maple leaf at the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore, winning six medals. Ruck won gold in both the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle, breaking the championship record in both. In early 2016, Ruck was recognized as Youth Female Swimmer of the Year by Swimming Canada for her 2015 season. In her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, Ruck won bronze medals with the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays, making her and teammate Penny Oleksiak the first ever Olympic medallists born in the 21st century.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Colin and Sophia Ruck…Younger brother Hunter…Her father played in the Western Hockey League… Her family moved to Arizona when she was 10 months old for her father’s work… Getting into the Sport: Started swimming lessons at 11 months at Cactus Pool in Scottsdale… Her parents couldn’t keep her away from water; she would happily walk into the deep end of her grandparents’ pool… Started racing competitively in the USA swimming program at age 8… Outside Interests: In grade 11 at Chaparral High School… Enjoys making art, playing with her pug, taking road trips to visit family in Kelowna, hiking, paddle-boarding… Sometimes volunteers at a local children’s summer day camp that she attended when she was younger… Odds and Ends: Nickname T-Ruck… Inspired by Missy Franklin because of her talent, hard work, great attitude, and Canadian background… Likes to eat at Chipotle the night before a race… On race day her dad makes her an egg, hash brown and turkey bacon breakfast… Favourite motto: Never give up…