Penny Oleksiak swimmingPhoto: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz
Photo: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming with Team Canada

For Training Tuesdays, we’re curating some of the most interesting and creative training moments from athletes. Check out the others here.

With less than 150 days to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Team Canada swimmers are giving their all in the pool and at the gym to be ready for competition.

Here’s what they’ve been up to:

1. Margaret Mac Neil

Improvise a gym in your childhood backyard, why not? That’s what Margaret Mac Neil did in the early days of the pandemic lockdown, when she also got her strokes in in her family’s small pool. 

Mac Neil is one of six swimmers provisionally nominated to Team Canada for Tokyo 2020, having set a national record to win the world title in the 100m butterfly in 2019. Her creative training paid off as last October, she swam a 100m butterfly in 57.2 seconds in practice, which would have been a University of Michigan pool record if it had been done in competition 😱

READ: Six swimmers provisionally nominated to Team Canada for Tokyo 2020

2. Brent Hayden

Another personal best in training, this one from a returning veteran! Having retired after winning Olympic bronze at London 2012, Brent Hayden decided to have another go at the Games for Tokyo 2020. As you can see, things have been going well for the 2007 100m freestyle world champion, who made his Olympic debut at Athens 2004. 

For Hayden, personal bests can also happen at the gym. He definitely means business!

3. Kylie Masse

Sometimes you gotta work with what you got. Another entry from early in the pandemic features two-time 100m backstroke world champion Kylie Masse staying in shape with a simple skipping rope and some fresh air. Masse has been provisionally nominated for Tokyo 2020, which will be her second Olympic appearance after tying for bronze at Rio 2016. 

4. Penny Oleksiak

Is that a shark or Penny Oleksiak? Even Olympic champions work on their basic techniques. We all remember the stir she caused at Rio 2016 when she became the first Canadian in history to win four medals at one Olympic Summer Games. Oleksiak has also earned a provisional nomination for Tokyo 2020.  

5. Sydney Pickrem

On what was supposed to be the start of swimming competition at Tokyo 2020, Sydney Pickrem was reminded about the importance of the small things and having perspective. In 2019, she became the first Canadian female swimmer to ever win three individual medals at the FINA World Championships. 

6. Emily Overholt

This is literally what diving into work means! Since winning a relay bronze medal at Rio 2016, Emily Overholt has opened up about her mental health journey. She came back to be part of another medal-winning relay at the 2019 World Championships. 

This is definitely the face of someone who loves being in water. 

7. Brent Hayden

Wondering what a torpedo looks like underwater? Brent Hayden gives a pretty good impression. 

8. Kierra Smith

Outdoor training with a side of mountains, not too bad, eh? Kierra Smith was also able to adapt to continue her training during the lockdown. At the 2019 FINA Worlds, Smith was part of the team that won bronze in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

9. Kelsey Wog

As you can see, Kelsey Wog is really in her element here. At the 2019 FINA Worlds, the 22-year-old swimmer finished sixth in the 200m breaststroke and will aim to make her Olympic debut this summer in Tokyo.

Wog also does not neglect her gains in the gym:

10. Cole Pratt

A little vitamin D for better training? There is something peaceful about Cole Pratt’s morning workout. Just 18 years old, Pratt was part of the men’s bronze medal-winning 4x100m medley relay at the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships.

Keep an eye on Swimming Canada athletes in the next few months as they keep training towards Tokyo 2020.