Synchro Canada at the Olympic trials for Synchronized Swimming in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Part Two

Jacqueline Simoneau, known for her Silver medal winning performance in Solo at the 2014 Junior World Championships and her qualification in duet with Karine Thomas for the 2016 Olympics, is also the flyer of the Canadian team. She will compete this weekend for the team Olympic qualification in Rio, Brazil.  

In our preparation for the Qualifying event in Rio, we caught up with Jackie Simoneau, Team Canada’s flyer, to ask her what it was like to have this important role on the team:

Q: How did you become a flyer of the Canadian team?

Jacqueline: I have trained for a few years in trampoline, gymnastics and diving with Luc

[Belhumeur] and Josée [Cyr]. I have progressively learned basic acrobatic moves in the water while all my teammates lift me or propel me into the air. Highlights require power and above all good timing between all the swimmers; it is a real team effort and needs a lot of practice.

Q: Canada is renowned for its innovation in highlights with past flyers such as Stéphanie Durocher, Lisa Sanders and Lisa Mikelberg. What kind of novelty will you bring into the routines?

Jacqueline: I perform one highlight that Canada created last year. I do a one and a half rotation front flip with a clean dive like in diving. This highlight demonstrates our control and precision. The feeling is great because my teammates throw me high in the air. I am very excited because we have gone one step further in the technical routine with the first double front somersault ever in synchronized swimming.

Q: Canada and Ukraine have performed double flips since the last Olympic cycle, can you tell is what is new?

Jacqueline: More and more countries put the double back somersault in their routine but in my case it is a double front somersault. It is way more difficult because during the push-off I create a twist and somersault in the same time! Luc helped me a lot in this first challenge. The landing is hard because I cannot see the water like in double back somersault. Then in a fraction of second I have to join the pattern. We worked very hard with Meng [Chen] to have a fast setup and transition!


Q: Is it your favourite highlight?

Jacqueline: I don’t know… because the platform in the free routine is so artistic and original. Its looks like its unstable. In fact, it is very solid. I am leaning a lot on my left side and come back. I need good balance but my teammates are doing all the effort to ensure a stable support.

Q: Will you present other Canadian creations in Rio?

Jacqueline: There is also the last highlight with Marie-Lou that is a clear demonstration of the strength of the Canadian swimmers! I won’t tell you more; you have to come or watch the routines here and encourage us.