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Paris 2024 spots on the line as Olympic & Paralympic Trials begin

News –

TORONTO – Team Canada spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are on the line as Swimming Canada’s flagship event returns to Toronto.

The Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, will run from Monday through Sunday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. A total of 857 athletes from 151 clubs across the country will be in action competing to represent Canada at the Olympic Games July 26-Aug. 11 and Paralympic Games Aug. 28-Sept. 8 in Paris. Teams for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships Aug. 21-24 in Canberra, Australia, and Open Water Junior World Championships Sept. 6-8 in Alghero, Italy, will also be selected.

A limited number of tickets for Monday through Wednesday are still available at:

Preliminary heats are at 9:30 a.m. ET each day, with finals sessions set for 6 p.m., hosted in house by Rio 2016 Olympic medallist Sandrine Mainville.

All sessions are being streamed live on CBC Sports digital platforms, with a nightly highlight show on CBC TV. Live streams can be watched via the free CBC Gem streaming service, at and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. All sessions will be also streamed on TOU.TV and Radio-Canada Sports platforms, with highlight shows broadcast Saturday and Sunday from 3-5 p.m. on ICI Télé.

Former national team members Jasen Pratt and Brittany MacLean will provide commentary for preliminary sessions. For finals, Rob Snoek and Byron MacDonald will have the English call for CBC, while two-time Olympic diving medallist Roseline Filion and 20-time Paralympic swimming medallist Benoit Huot deliver French commentary for Radio-Canada.

“I’m a little nervous of course, but I that’s overrun by how excited I am to perform in front of everybody,” said Parksville, B.C., native Nicholas Bennett, a two-time world champion who trains with his sister Haley Bennett-Osborne at the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club.

Swimming for a chance to qualify for the Paralympics in front of a packed house will add that extra energy.

“I think there is a lot more excitement even compared to last year’s trials (for world championships),” said the Tokyo 2020 Paralympian. “I can feel it in the air right now.”

Meanwhile, Katerine Savard is as excited as ever as she attempts to qualify for her fourth Olympic Games.

“I’m still nervous,” said the Pont-Rouge, Que., native who trains with Marc-Andre Pelletier at Club de Natation Région de Québec. “Every year we have to prove ourselves, to swim fast to be on the team. I think it’s a good stress. I want to perform well and make the team.”

Savard has a little extra incentive this year.

“My mom is going to be here,” she said. “It might be one of the last times she’s going to see me swim so I’m really excited about that. “

To set the tone for Paris, swimmers will walk out for finals from under a replica of the Eiffel Tower, flanked by 3×5-metre video walls. A 47-m video ribbon board will run the length of the pool, and a live DJ will provide music to fuel the atmosphere. Paris symbols, imagery, icons and patterns will be featured throughout the venue.

“We are very excited to make the upcoming 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, the biggest and most exciting event Swimming Canada has ever put on,” said Marketing Director Alan Raphael. “We want to tell a visual story of Canadian competitive swimming at the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, using a specially created graphics package featuring icons of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Moulin Rouge and Notre Dame alongside elements representing the pool, water, lane lines, and more.”

The design theme will carry over into event merchandise and posters available at the Swimming Canada Fan Shop inside the Trials Fan Zone, which will include a large Speedo activation along with Air Canada, Chicken Farmers, Myrtha Pools, Safe Sport and an athlete autograph station.

“We could not have put this event together without the support of our sponsors and partners. That includes the local organizing committee put together by the Fédération de natation du Québec, who have helped us every step of the way since we were forced to move the event from the Montreal Olympic pool,” said Acting CEO Suzanne Paulins. “Our partners, including Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and Swim Ontario have all made tremendous contributions in helping us bring the Olympic & Paralympic Trials, Presented by Bell, to life in Toronto.”

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