Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) is pleased to announce the coaches who will lead Canada’s 13-15 National Team to compete in the first-ever 2019 FINA Youth World Championships. The event will take place August 28th – September 1st in Samorin, Slovakia.

Elena Podolsky, from Kitchener, ON, will be Canada’s 13-15 National Team Head Coach. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Elena has coached many international athletes including the duet from Greece, working with the Head Coach, at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She helped prepare the team from Greece for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and worked with the Head Coach Olga Vasilchenko during the Games. She has been coaching in Canada’s National Team programs for 15 years. An assistant coach at the 2004, 2006 and 2014 Junior World Championships, she was the Head Coach at the 2008 FINA Junior World Championships, and most recently was Canada’s Team Leader at the FINA Junior World Championships. Podolsky has also been an Assistant Coach for the 13-15 National Team on three occasions and Head Coach of the 13-15 National Team in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Podolsky is a technical expert for Ontario Artistic Swimming for the Train-to-Train and Learn-to-Train stages of the Long-Term Athlete Development program. She is working towards her NCCP Level 4 certification and is also a certified Level I Artistic Swimming Judge. Podolsky is currently the Head Coach of the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swimming Club.

“I am very proud to be have been chosen to lead Canada at the first 2019 FINA Artistic Swimming Youth World Championships,” said Podolsky. “I know that all of the athletes, their coaches and sports officials have worked very hard to get them to where they are. There is still a lot of work to be done and I am absolutely confident that we all are up for the challenge.”

Manny Wu, from Ajax, Ontario, will be an Assistant Coach for the 13-15 program. Growing up in China, Wu represented her country on the National Team at several world championships and the 2004 Olympic Summer Games. She began her coaching career in China, and then came to Canada in 2008. Wu has been coaching in Canada’s national programs since 2015. She was a Junior National Team Assistant Coach in 2015 at the UANA Pan American Championships and in 2016 at the FINA Junior World Championships. She was the Head Coach of the Junior National program in the summer of 2017 and in 2018 Wu was the Head Coach of Canada’s National 13-15 Team, winning gold in every event at the 2018 UANA Pan American Artistic Swimming Championships in Riverside, CA. She achieved her level 4 NCCP qualification in 2017. She is currently the Head Coach at RTC-Ontario.

The 13-15 National Team coaches were on hand in Kamloops at the 2019 Canadian Championships to finish the Talent ID process that started at the 2019 Qualifier to choose the athletes who will be invited to the 13-15 National Team selection camp. Taking place on June 7th – 14th in Montreal, at the Institut National du Sport du Quebec, the camp is where the team that will represent Canada will be selected. They will then lead the team through two training camps from July 24 to August 20th in Canada and from August 21st – 25th in Slovakia in preparation for the World Championships.

“Selecting Elena and Manny to our 13-15 National Team coaching staff lays the foundation for a strong coaching team to lead our 13-15 program,” said Julie Healy, Chief Sport Officer. It is always exciting to represent Canada on the world stage and we believe these coaches will use their professional and international experience to provide outstanding leadership to this year’s team.”

Canada Artistic Swimming will be adding a third coach to the 13-15 National Team coaching staff following the completion of the selection camp in June.