Once every four years, a unique artistic swimming competition takes place at the Canada Winter Games – athletes from all around the country compete to represent their province while enjoying the unique experience provided by a large-scale multisport event.
This year, 92 artistic swimmers have gathered in Alberta to take part in the 2019 Red Deer Canada Games. They have gone through extensive provincial selection processes and have been training for months in order to prepare for the event which will be held in nearby Calgary.
The competition will not feature the commonly-used age groups: all athletes, aged 14 to 21, will be competing in a single category. This offers the unique opportunity to witness competitors with various degrees of experience match their skills against each other, with provincial pride at stake. 3 Canada Games titles will be awarded over the course of the 5-day competition in the solo, duet and team events. For all of them, the winner will be determined by adding the scores from 2 separate programs: the technical and free routines.
The Red Deer Games will showcase athletes from 9 provinces as well as the Yukon Territory. Quebec has been a Canada Games force in recent history, winning the last 5 editions and sharing the podium with teams from Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario during that time. In 2015 in Prince George, BC, Quebec took the team and duet titles, while Alberta won its first gold in 20 years in the solo event, courtesy of 13-year-old Paige Hopper. In 2011, the Halifax Games saw young phenom and 2016 Olympian Jacqueline Simoneau become a triple gold medalist.
Year after year, the Canada Games competition proves to be a great launching pad for future stars of the sport. 7 current members of Canada’s Senior National Team, hailing from 5 provinces, competed in the 2015 Games in Prince George, a testament to the competition’s importance in the high performance development pathway. In 2019, many former 13-15 and junior national team members will be competing for their province.
The competition gets underway on Sunday, Feb 17, at the Calgary Sport Centre with the presentation of the solo technical event starting at 19:10 MST.
Schedules, official results and athlete bios can be found on the Canada Games website. All events will be webcast on canadagames.live. Start lists are available at www.artisticswimming.ca/canadagames2019.