MONTREAL - Whether they are savvy veterans or vying for a berth on their first Olympic team, there's no doubt Canadian swimmers are pumped for the Olympic trials which run Tuesday to Sunday at the Olympic Park Sport Centre. Here are some comments collected a poolside on Monday after the morning training session:
Annamay Pierse, Edmonton, 2008 Olympian, world record holder 200 breaststroke, 2009 world championship silver medallist 200 breaststroke
‘’I’m really excited about these trials. We got here on Saturday and when I hopped in the pool I had my game face on. This is it and I feel really good. My preparations have been as good as I could have hoped. It’s been a rough couple of years and I’ve done everything in my power leading up to this moment. I love racing and I’ll give everything I can.’’
Mike Brown, Perth, Ont., 2004 and 2008 Olympian
‘’My preparations are going really well. It’s been a great season in training since the start in September. I really picked up after the world championships and racing some World Cups in Europe was also great. I have kept that going through till now. I’ve come a long way and I feel like I’ve surpassed myself since 2008.
Martha McCabe, Toronto, 2011 world championship bronze medallist 200 breaststroke
‘’I’m a combination of relaxed, excited and happy to be here. The hard part is over now. My 200 breaststroke isn’t until Saturday so I also have to keep all the emotions bottled up for a little while so that I can release them at the right moment. Still it’s good to come now, cheer on my teammates and get into the racing spirit.’’
Brent Hayden, Mission, B.C., 2007 world champion 100 freestyle, 2009 world championship silver medallist, 100 freestyle, 2004 and 2008 Olympian.
‘’For me I’m approaching it like another swim meet. I have been really preparing over the last couple of weeks on the technical aspects on my races and I just want to bust something good out here. We had an amazing training camp in Maui and I’m in really good shape heading into these trials.’’
Julia Wilkinson, Stratford, Ont., 2008 Olympian.
‘’These are special trials because it is totally different for me from four years ago. You can’t have the same attitude you had when you never made an Olympic team. I walked in today and felt like I was more down to business and I just want to get behind the blocks and make the team.’’
Katerine Savard, Quebec City, 2011 world championship team member
‘’I’m really anxious to get going and race and see how I will fare against some tough competition. My preparations are going really well and I’m swimming faster than ever. I’m confident it will go well for me. Every competition I’ve been in this year I’ve hovered around my Canadian record (in the 100 butterfly) so it’s a great springboard for this event.’’
Pierre Lafontaine, Swimming Canada’s CEO and national coach
‘’What I want to see are our athletes fighting hard to win those races. These are the biggest Olympic trials in our history and we want to create an unforgettable experience for all our athletes in particular our veterans who may be at their last trials and our youngsters who will continue on to 2016, 2020 and beyond.’’
Competition runs from Tuesday to Sunday at the Olympic Park Sport Centre. Preliminaries are at 10 a.m., and the finals are at 7 p.m. each day. Sportsnet will carry finals live each evening.