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16 in ’16: Swimming Canada’s 16 memorable moments from 2016

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Pictures of Swimming Canada’s 16 memorable moments from 2016

Canadian swimmers made our nation proud in 2016. This past year produced 11 new Olympic medallists, 15 world championship medallists, five Paralympic medallists, and countless new swimming fans young and old. As we turn the calendar to 2017, here is a look back at 16 of the most memorable moments of 2016.

Olympic Trials-finals-7apr2016. Photo Scott Grant Katerine Savard’s perseverance paid off at Canadian Olympic & Para-swimming Trials. Known for her 100-m butterfly, she missed the team in her signature event on Day 1. Savard overcame her disappointment to make the team two days later in the 200-m freestyle. She made the most of her second Olympic Games, contributing to Canada’s first ever medal in the 4×200 free relay, a bronze.

Olympic Trials-finals-6apr2016. Photo Scott Grant

Canada’s bright future was on display throughout the Trials. Both Penny Oleksiak and Javier Acevedo broke world junior records on their way to making the Rio 2016 Olympic Team. Acevedo was also the youngest male on Canada’s Olympic Team at age 18.

Swimming Canada-finals-5apr2016. Photo Scott Grant

Olympic veteran Brittany MacLean was outstanding at Trials, breaking the Canadian records in both the 200-m and 400-m freestyle events to go along with her records in the 800 and 1,500. She went on to help Canada win an Olympic bronze medal in the 4×200 free relay before retiring from swimming and getting a start on a potential career in broadcasting.


The women’s 4×100-m freestyle relay won Canada’s first medal to get the Olympic party started in Rio. This started a wave of Olympic and Paralympic medals and put swimming back on the map in Canada.


Olympic men’s sprinters are back on the international map. Santo Condorelli finished just short of the Rio Olympic podium in the 100-m freestyle in fourth. He also teamed with Yuri Kisil, Markus Thormeyer and Evan Van Moerkerke to put Canada back in the 4×100 free relay Olympic final.


Olympic Veteran Ryan Cochrane attended his 3rd Olympic Games and made it to his third straight Olympic final. He finished 6th in the 1,500-m freestyle after earning medals in the distance in 2008 and 2012.
Canada's Penny Oleksiak poses with her medals on the flag at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday August 21, 2016. COC Photo/Mark Blinch Swimming Canada was well represented at the closing ceremonies of both the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games as both Penny Oleksiak and Aurélie Rivard were the flag bearers.
Rio de Janeiro-11/9/2016- Canadian swimmer Aurelie Rivard wins silver in the women's 200m IM finals at the Olympic Aquatic Centre during the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee Aurélie Rivard set two world records in both the 50-m and 400-m freestyle S10 while competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She ended up with three gold medals and a silver as she emerged as the new face of the Paralympic movement in Canada.

Rio de Janeiro-15/9/2016- Canada swimmer Benoit Huot swims to a bronze medal in the men's 400m freestyle final at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee

After several near misses earlier in the Games, Benoît Huot made the most of his last chance in Rio. The veteran Paralympian earned himself a bronze medal in the 400-m freestyle S10 in a personal best time of 4:04.63 at age 31. He moved to a tie for second in all-time Paralympic swimming medals with Michael Edgson at 20, behind only Tim McIsaac’s 28.

Rio de Janeiro-14/9/2016- Canadian swimmer Katarina Roxon wins gold in the woman's 100m breaststroke at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee

It was the year of the women in Rio. Individual female swimmers made a big splash bringing home 10 medals. Para-swimmers Tess Routliffe, Katarina Roxon and Aurélie Rivard and Olympians Hilary Caldwell, Kylie Masse and Penny Oleksiak wowed the world in individual events in Rio. Roxon’s gold and Americas record in the S8 100-m breaststroke – the first ever medal for the determined three-time Paralympian – may have been the most emotional of all.

Rio de Janeiro-9/9/2016- Danielle Doris competes in the women's 100m fly during the swimming at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee

Young swimmers continued to emerge on the world stage for Canada. Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck, both 16, became the world’s first Olympic medallists born in the 2000’s. Windsor saw newcomer Kelsey Wog win a silver medal along with Sarah Darcel and Olivia Anderson making their first senior international finals, while Alexia Zevnik contributed to three relay medals – two gold. Meanwhile we saw the emergence of Danielle Dorris (14), Sabrina Duchesne (15) and Abi Tripp (15) at the Paralympic Games. Dorris was the youngest athlete on the Paralympic Team.

Rio de Janeiro-17/9/2016- Canadian swimmer Nicolas Turbide wins bronze in the men's 100m backstroke final at the Olympic Aquatics Centre during the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee

Nicolas-Guy Turbide earned a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. With his first Paralympic bronze medal, he also received the Male Para-swimmer of the Year award.


Kylie Masse burst onto the scene by earning a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, then competed under the pressure of her hometown Windsor, Ont., hosting the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). She delivered a silver medal in the 100-m backstroke, then later added another silver in the 4×100 medley relay.
 14womens-4x200m-relay-gold-8-of-8 Canada hosted the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Windsor, Ont., where Alexia Zevnik, Katerine Savard, Taylor Ruck, Kennedy Goss and Penny Oleksiak won the women’s 4×200-m freestyle relay, Canada’s first ever world gold swimming medal on home soil. Sarah Darcel, Zevnik, Michelle Williams, Sandrine Mainville, Ruck and Oleksiak added a second gold in the 4×50 free on the final night.


Penny Oleksiak finished 2016 off with winning Canada’s Lou Marsh Award, which is given to Canada’s top athlete of the year.

Swimming Canada-heats-6apr2016. Photo Scott Grant

The fast swimming continued into late December at the Ontario Junior International event in Toronto. Among several standout performances, Mary-Sophie Harvey broke two Canadian records and Rebecca Smith won female swimmer of the meet.