Tobermory Adventures

Tobermory, if you every have the chance to visit, is a small, charming and gorgeous place to spend your summer. The team was contacted recently with an incredible opportunity to swim in the Georgian Bay for the 150th Anniversary of Canada! SESQUI is an interactive media touring festival that will travel across the country in 2017. They have been filming all across Canada and will show the world a 360 degree view of our beautiful country! I have to say that the vision behind this project is incredible. Who would think to film Ballet in an airport, or synchro in a lake?? They did! We are so privileged to be a scene in this 20 minute film that will be shown in dome theatres everywhere.

At around 2:30pm on September 7th, after a plane to Toronto and a 4 hour bus, 8 of our girls at the Centre of Excellence took the 30
minute boat ride out of the Tobermory Harbour, to the edge of the Georgian Bay. There were 3 boats, one for the girls, which provided snacks, tea, and blankets, one for the crew and one rescue boat. The water was gorgeous and incredibly clear. We would be swimming about 200 metres from shore in front of what the crew called “the orb”, a bundle of cameras that would shoot a 360 degree view of the area, right over top of one of the many shipwrecks. As we arrive, we realize that the “lake” is not behaving the way you would think, more like an OCEAN if you ask me! We had huge waves with white caps coming off of them…. not ideal for SynchronizedSwimming…


While we wait for the “OK” to jump into the water, we hear OUR music blaring from the shore line. It was epic. The entire team was in awe… OUR Fire & Ice music seemed to fit so well in this scenery; waves crashing, with the cool air and the sun setting in the background with the clear, erry water showing us all of it’s past triumphs. All we could muster was, “wooooooooow!!”

Even more comically, as the crew (in wetsuits) shares that the water is “not that cold” the team is in our competition outfits. Hair gelled, make up on and in our tiny sparkling suits, we jump into the Bay, with blood curdled screams! Rumours say the water was between 16 to 20 degrees. Though I would move that closer to the 16 degree mark…. there was some moments of panic, we quickly warmed up (as much as possible) and made our way to the ‘orb’ where we would do the rest of our filming.

After a quick rehearsal, and a small break, the orb was lowered into the water. Because the water was so cold and the waves were physically displacing our pattern at ever possible chance, our plan of swimming a 1.5 minute section was immediately a “no go”. We ended up having to do 10 seconds of our routine at a time. The below water shots were pretty easy to do because we could communicate above the water the whole time, minus one minor miscommunication where the orb was to shallow to swim above…. Imagine 8 girls using hand signals and screaming to the director (who is on shore) to drop the orb deeper into the water…. with very little success. Until a few minutes later he said over the microphone, “ohhhhh the orbs to shallow!” All of us start to laugh and scream “YESSSSSS!” Haha a little comic relief to get over the chill creeping over our bodies!

I have to say that the above water shoot, which just consisted in divers bringing the orb above the water on a pole that was anchored to the bottom of the bay, was extremely fun. This is the time where we really realized how beautiful this was going to be! The lake started to calm itself, the sun was in the perfect position and we (after many times training the sections) were finally getting comfortable in the water. The best part of the above shoot is that there can be no one around us….. So for about 5 minutes we would wait for the 3 boats to leave us out there…. all alone, above a shipwreck, with the crew literally hiding from the cameras. The music would start and we would do our small sections over and over again until it was time to call in the rescue boat! They would be the 1st on the scene to get us out of the water and check whether we got the shot. Of course there was some technical issues, so we would go in a few more times to get the perfect shot. Seriously, if you could have seen the view behind us as we swam, you would have fallen in love with this place too.img_0518

In total, we were out on the water for 4.5 hours and in the water for about 3 of them. We were chilly and exhausted after, but the experience of swimming in the bay that day will last forever.

For more information about SESQUI check out their Facebook Page or their Instagram which shows some of the incredible things they have done in their time of filming!





Road To Tokyo

Hello World!

Today is officially DAY 1 of our Road To Tokyo!!! Watching Karine and Jackie make us proud in Rio was an incredible experience and we could not have hoped for a better performance from the two of them! We are so excited to hear about the entire journey from all of the experts who were in Rio with the girls.

Watching the Olympics was tough. It was hard because it is something you want to enjoy and watch with full commitment, like when you are young and ambitious about your future, but then the realization that we were basically there… just 0.7 away, sucks. It feels unfair and for a few moments you feel sad, but as soon you see your friends on TV kicking butt and winning medals, you start to realize that even the smallest thought of sadness is not worth it!

It’s the Olympics, there will be another chance! It’s all about coming together to watch our Canadian Athletes represent everything that you stand for and feel inspired by their stories, their struggles and their drive to achieve this ultimate goal. There were so many tears of joy during these games just knowing that I have met, spoken, and trained with most of these people. They have become my peers and I couldn’t be more excited of what they have achieved!

Our superstars have had the trip of their lives and in 4 years we will try to get that chance to live it as well. Each and every day is going to

Jackie at the Closing Ceremonies in Rio
Jackie at the Closing Ceremonies in Rio

be difficult and sometimes we will question everything that we have worked for, but in time it will be worth all the energy and the pain. This team has been through a lot, and with that there is a huge amount of fight in us. We will make this happen, we will be the Olympians we deserve to be.

“Perfect” online! 

Hey everyone! 

It’s been such a crazy week with “Perfect” coming out! I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent messages and live tweeted with me tonight, you are all awesome! 

If you haven’t had the chance to see “perfect” click the link Here and ENJOY! 

This version is 44 mins and is COMPLETELY different from the feature film that will be making its way across the country this fall (hopefully!) 

I hope you enjoy the film! If you have questions feel free to send me a tweet @claudiaholzner or write me using the blog! 


Breakfast TV and Global News

This morning Jeremie Battaglia and I went to Breakfast TV and Global News to promote the film perfect! 

Breakfast TV Montreal

The film is about the struggles and obstacles we (Synchro Canada) had to overcome to achieve our goals. Although we will not make our Olympic debut this summer in Rio, we have learnt from our experiences and will move forward towards Tokyo 2020. 

For Calgarians, pick up the Calgary Herald today for an article on perfect and more information about how we are going to get the film across the country! Or click this LINK for the full article online! 

Canada’s road to Rio: Perfect

Watch CBC Firsthand tomorrow at 9pm EDT for the TV version and we also invite you to come to Cinema du Parc August 4th – 6th at 7pm EDT for the theatre experience! 

I’ll be there all 3 days to answer your questions and greet you after the screening! 


Viewing “Parfaites”

Hey everyone! 

Last night we had the privilege of seeing the 1st screening of the French feature film “Parfaites” 

What an amazing experience!! I am so proud to be a part of this incredible film. What Jérémie has done is create a film that expresses all of the hard work, emotions and sacrifice that goes in to one 4 minute swim at the end of the journey. The visuals are beautiful and although I feel super awkward listening to my own voice, I can’t help but feel so proud! 

I hope that this film gives you the understanding of what it is like to be a synchronized swimmer and what it takes to be an elite athlete. I hope young swimmers will see all that we have gone through and learn from the obstacles we had to overcome. 

For our Montreal friends you can view the feature version of the film (76 min.) 

Cinémathèque Québécoise, view website Here (French version) Playing now twice a day. 15h30 and 19h00.    
Cinéma du Parc, buy tickets Here (English version) has only 3 screenings August 4, 5 and 6.
For all of you across Quebec and Canada you can view the film on TV
July 30 (French 52 min) at 21h00 on SRC Mille et une vies
August 4 (English 44 min) at 21h00 on CBC First Hand

Hope you enjoy the film in all its versions!! Each one of them is unique. I have friends who will screen all three!

Marielou and Claudia signing some posters!

A Day in the Life…

Hey Friends!

Click HERE to view the piece I wrote for CBC and the movie “Perfect”. Hope this gives you some insight into our world and what Synchronized Swimming is all about!

Send me your comments and questions in the side panel “CONTACT ME”




Hey everyone!!

I’m so excited to share some new details about the film “Perfect” which will debut later this month!

The French Version: Le documentaire Parfaites, de Jérémie Battaglia, sera à l’affiche à La Cinémathèque Québécoise à Montréal, du 29 juillet au 4 août. Horaire détaillé à venir.
Vous pouvez acheter vos places par téléphone: 514-842-9763

The English Version: “Perfect” will be shown at Cinéma du Parc: 

August 4th, 2016 at 7PM
August 5th, 2016 at 7PM
August 6th, 2016 at 3PM

For now the film will only be premiering in Montreal, but we are working towards getting it to everyone across CANADA!!! I will be sure to keep you up to date as new details unfold! Can’t wait to see you all there!!!

“Perfect” Trailer

“Synchronised swimming is for girls. It’s for girls who can run a 400 metre sprint while holding their breath, and smiling. Perfect dives beyond the sequins and mascara to follow the Canadian synchronised swimming team through the most gruelling year of their lives as they battle for a spot at Rio 2016. This team of elite athletes will do whatever it takes to make it. They’ll suffer concussions, smashed vertebrae, fractured feet, broken noses, black eyes and dislocated knees. That’s because synchronised swimming is as much of a contact sport as football.

“You go out there, you kill. This is war,” trainer Meng Chen tells her girls before they compete. The biggest challenge for Team Canada is not their choreography nor their synchronicity, but their diversity. In a conservative sport like synchronised swimming, the definition of perfection is sameness. But Team Canada represents the country’s cultural diversity, which makes them the underdogs. The only way they’ll have a chance at their Olympic dream is to outswim and outperform the competition with a routine that totally blows the judges out of the water.

With unprecedented access to the team and their trainer, Perfect follows this determined, strong and hard working group of women in their quest to make it to the Olympics. From Montreal to Bratislava, Kazan and Rio, battling eating disorders, dislocated knees and crushing losses, these girls never give up. And more importantly, they never stop smiling.” – Description of “Perfect” 

Click HERE to watch the Trailer for the movie about the Synchronized Swimming National Team, Premiering July 29th!!

Happy Muscles

Thank you to Claire and Alina for sending in some questions about how to begin improving your flexibility in synchro (without causing injury!)

Here are 5 tips and tricks that my team and I use on a daily basis to improve our flex and make sure our bodies stay happy and healthy. After all, our bodies really are everything when it comes to sport.

  1. Keeping your muscles warm. – I am sure most of you have seen athletes wearing long socks to keep warm during figure competitions. This is one way to keep your muscles warm without having to add anything physical to your already taxing day! Before getting ready for your practice or competition try wearing long clothes. Ex. long socks to cover the ankles, long pants for your hips and knees, as well as long shirts for your shoulders, elbows and wrists. This can help to protect the joints so that you can protect them from any damage. Try it at your next practice!
  2. Foam Rolling. – This is a great addition to your daily routine! Start by foam rolling your back. Then roll out your bum, quadriceps, hamstrings, and inner thighs. Try doing 8 times back and forth on each muscle before moving on to the next. Do this at the beginning of training!
  3. Hot tub stretching. – This is great if you are struggling to get flat with your splits on land. The warmth of the tub will be just enough to loosen up your muscles so that you can get a little bit more of a relaxing stretch instead of the tense stretch you would get on land. A lot of times I see people who use every muscle in their body to hold themselves up so that they don’t feel that extreme stretch. This is bad!!! This can cause all sorts of issues later in your shoulders and back, even staining some leg muscles. Use the tub trick to start and work your way up.
  4. Progression to Splits. – I love doing a progression to my splits. I either start my practice or end my practice with some of these stretches (as well as rolling). Starting with a standard lunge position, to a hamstring stretch, back to the lunge but this time with the front foot turned out at a 45 degree angle. Drop the hips and wiggle into different positions to find a nice stretch. At that lunge bend the back leg in so that you stretch the front of the quad on the back leg.  From there you can go into a half split (a split but with something supporting your front knee or front hip), and then get into your split. Make sure you do both legs and HOLD for more than 30 seconds each!
  5. Go get a massage. – Now that training is more intense, I have learnt the importance of massages in an athletes career! Our muscles are so important to us and if we let them get too tight they can rip! Nobody wants that. When you feel sore, tight or even just a little bit tense, get yourself a therapeutic massage and let them work their magic! Its a great way to keep you healthy and help flexibility.

For more tips, contact me using the side bar! Also, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the tips I’ve given here.




Exciting news everyone!!! The documentary “Perfect” is about to make its debut here in Montreal! We still have about a month before premiere night, but the buzz is already beginning. 

Jeremie Battaglia has been following this team for about 2 years now and the process has been incredible. We have made so many memories these last few years and to have someone there to record us in our most vulnerable moments was definitely a learning experience! This film shares our journey to the Olympic Qualifier and takes you through the most grueling year of our lives.

I am so proud to be a part of this project and I hope you enjoy the beautiful film we have created. “Perfect” premieres on JULY 29th and it is super important that we have a great turn out in the 1st week. This will lead to another week of showings and more opportunities for us to get it to everyone across CANADA!

For more details please LIKE our Facebook Page, FOLLOW @parfaitesdoc on twitter and FOLLOW @parfaitesdoc on Instagram


Inside the Life of an Aspiring Olympian

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