Synchronized swimming was only added to the Olympic program just two months before Los Angeles 1984 began. Canada’s Carolyn Waldo did not have any previous significant international solo records and was not even Canada’s top swimmer in the event. But when the Canadian favourites faltered in the preliminary rounds, Waldo went through to the final winning the solo silver medal. At Seoul 1988, Waldo was chosen to carry Team Canada’s flag into the Opening Ceremony, a childhood dream come true. Swimming to Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty”, Waldo built herself a 2.5-point lead in figures competition in the preliminary round that carried over to the final which 1984 Olympic solo champion American Tracie Ruiz-Conforto could not overcome. Competing in the duet with Calgary native Michelle Cameron, she won her second gold of the Seoul Games and became the first Canadian woman to win two gold medals in one Olympic Games.
Waldo was part of winning teams at the 1981 Pan Pacific Championships, 1982 World Championships and the 1983 Pan American Games. Following Los Angeles 1984, Waldo became the “Golden Girl” of synchronized swimming winning every major national and international synchronized swimming competition she entered. With partner Cameron, Waldo won the 1985 Rome and Spanish Opens, 1985 FINA World Cup, 1986 Spanish Open, 1986 Commonwealth Games, 1986 World Championships (solo, duet, team), 1987 Pan Pacific Championships and the 1987 FINA World Cup.
Almost drowning at the age of three, it took seven years for Waldo to overcome her fear of water. She started synchronized swimming at the age of 11 and within five years had won her first junior title in duet. In 1982, Waldo joined the Calgary Aquabelles Club under coach Debbie Muir. She retired from synchronized swimming after Seoul 1988, married Tom Baltzer in Florida in 1989, became a sports reporter for an Ottawa television station, and had two children which she considers her greatest accomplishment outside of swimming. She has also served as spokesperson for the R.C.M.P.’s National Drug Awareness Campaign.
Made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1988), Waldo is a four-time winner of the Velma Springstead Trophy (1985-88), was twice awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (1987, 1988) and won the Lou Marsh Trophy (1988). She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic (1987), Alberta Sports (1991), Canada’s Sports (1991) and International Swimming Halls of Fame (1994).
|1984 Los Angeles||Aquatics - Synchronized Swimming||Solo - Women||Silver|
|1988 Seoul||Aquatics - Synchronized Swimming||Duet - Women||Gold|
|1988 Seoul||Aquatics - Synchronized Swimming||Solo - Women||Gold|