Mon, September 23, 2013

Synchro swimmers buoyed by Vancouver effort

By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency


Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon (left) and Élise Marcotte were at Saturday's official unveiling of the Canadian synchronized swimming duet themes, music, swimsuits and makeup for the 2012 Olympic Games. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency)


CALGARY - When she found herself screaming at the TV in support of her friend Alex Bilodeau while he competed in freestyle skiing at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon knew she had to make her way to Vancouver.

The trip from Quebec to the West Coast fuelled a fire which continues to rage this summer.

“I went in 2004 and 2008, and Vancouver was the first time I saw so many people proud to be Canadian in one place,” said Boudreau-Gagnon, a member of Canada’s synchronized swimming team which will compete at the ’12 Olympic Summer Games in London, England.

“For me, Vancouver was a good trip to make. I don’t regret losing one day of training, because I came home and was ready to train more and more for these Olympics.”

Boudreau-Gagnon and duet teammate Elise Marcotte were on-hand at Calgary’s Talisman Centre for the official unveiling of their swimsuits and the music they will use during their performances at the coming ’12 Olympic Summer Games.

As a country, Canada is ranked fourth in the world, behind Russia, China and Spain, so a medal is attainable. Canada last won a team medal — bronze — in 2000.

“This team believes it can win a medal, and it’s been a long time since it happened,” Boudreau-Gagnon said.

Added Marcotte, “We have nothing to lose. We can only make it better. We want to keep fourth, for sure, but we want to get higher.”

The Canadians aren’t going to show anyone their programs until the London Games, hoping a shroud of secrecy will create a buzz.

“I think it makes it magic,” said Marcotte, who’ll also be attending her second Olympics. “We just went to the Olympic qualifiers about a month ago, and (athletes from) the other countries were saying, ‘So what are you swimming to? What’s your routine like?’

“But we don’t want to show it yet. We really want to make a big impact, a huge impact, when we swim at the Olympics. We want everyone to be saying, ‘Whoa Canada!’ ”

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