Rachel Nicol swims in a breaststroke racePhoto: Mark Blinch/COC
Photo: Mark Blinch/COC

Rachel Nicol


Rachel Nicol was named to her first national team in 2015 after winning the 100m breaststroke at the Canadian Trials. She went on to win bronze in the 100m breaststroke and silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. She then made her World Aquatics Championships debut, advancing to the semifinals of the 100m breaststroke.

Nicol had previously represented Canada at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 where she won three medals: gold in the 50m breaststroke, bronze in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay. She made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 where she finished fifth in the 100m breaststroke and with the 4x100m medley relay team.

Nicol was a member of the Canadian teams that competed at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. At the 2019 Canadian Trials, she placed in the top three in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke events, but declined selection to the Pan Am Games in Lima for mental and physical health reasons.  

At the Canadian Trials to select the team for Tokyo 2020, Nicol missed the Olympic qualifying standard time in the 100m breaststroke by 0.24 of a second. She came back in 2022 to earn a spot on the team for that year’s World Aquatics Championships where she was part of a bronze medal in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

As a student athlete at Southern Methodist University, Nicol was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2012. In 2014 she earned All-American Athlete Conference Academic Honors. She is also a three-time All-American, most recently in 2015 for the 100m breaststroke.

A Little More About Rachel

Getting into the Sport: Started swimming at age 4, taught by her parents… Outside Interests: Studied Applied Physiology and Sport Management at Southern Methodist University… Completed a Masters of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary in 2022… Odds and Ends: Inspired by the racehorse, Seabiscuit… Favourite movie: Gladiator… Listens to rock music before competing… Favourite band is the Rolling Stones… Pre-race meal is couscous and ground beef…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Rio 2016Swimming100m Breaststroke5
Rio 2016Swimming4x100m Medley relay - Women5

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2016 - 5th (100m breaststroke), 5th (4x100m medley relay)

Youth Olympic Games: 2010 – GOLD (50m breaststroke), BRONZE (100m breaststroke), 4th (200m breaststroke), BRONZE (4x100m freestyle relay), 4th (4x100m medley relay) Pan American Games: 2015 – BRONZE (100m breaststroke), SILVER (4x100m medley relay)

Commonwealth Games: 2018 – 9th (100m breaststroke), 11th (50m breaststroke)

FINA World Championships: 2022 – BRONZE (4x100m medley relay), 18th (50m breaststroke), 11th (mixed 4x100m medley relay); 2017 – 8th (50m breaststroke), 10th (100m breaststroke); 2015 – 11th (100m breaststroke), 6th (4x100m medley relay)

Pan Pacific Championships: 2018 - 12th (100m breaststroke), 13th (200m breaststroke)