Tag Archives: competition

Our trip to Quebec

Hey Everyone!

So as most of you know already, last weekend Gabe and I made a courageous decision to drive to Quebec City for the Canadian Open Qualifier!

IMG_1691 2For those of you who follow my Instagram @claudiaholzner or my teams Instagram @syncanada2020 you would already know what we went through during that trip…. A quick recap: Went for a great lunch, popped a tire driving 100km/hr, changed the tire, got to the hotel and received the key to someone else’s room…awkward…. got a new room and met some synchro girls who had been running around trying to figure out where we were staying. That’s probably the best way to describe it all!

We were so excited to arrive at the pool the next morning to perform our Tech Duet for the first time in public and we are pretty happy about our swim! We have a ways to go and lots of little things to work on, but we are confident that our training plan is working and that we are on the right track as we get ready for Japan in just about a month!

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I know that both Gabe and I truly felt a huge wave of support throughout the Synchro Community as we made our Canadian debut and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to give us positive comments and tips for our duet as well as just to chat and meet the next generation of excellent swimmers! Thank you for making us feel welcome and we can hardly wait to perform in front of you again at the Canadian Open in May!

Follow our journey using the hashtag #gabeclau in honour of our Aquabelle “mini me’s” xoxo

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C

Updates

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!!

Parfaites/Perfect

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

 

We’re Back!

Hey Everyone, we’re back!!

This week we had our 1st full week of training back after about 3 months off. It’s kind of funny to see how in shape we were at the qualifier and how hard our routines truly are!! We are dying just attempting the smallest sections!! Everyone knows that this break was a long one and I’ll tell you why. We really fought and pushed our bodies to an extreme for about a year, probably since just after the Pan Am Games. Our intensive training really started then and we couldn’t let up after that because the Olympic Qualifier was so close. We had to give ourselves every opportunity possible to make this last competition something that we could be proud of. And we did exactly that.

We, as a team, have been taking our time to get back into things because none of us have ever had this much time off in our synchro careers, but I think at the same time the break was necessary for us to be able to come back to training with a good mental and physical awareness. These last 4 years have had their fair share of overwhelming moments and with this break we could at least calm some of those feelings and relax a little bit before we started the next chapter.

So far our primary focus is to get into shape doing land training and speed swimming. After doing a few hours of workouts we then move on to remembering the feeling of being upside down again lol!!

We will be keeping you updated on all of our progress as well as some exciting things that will be coming soon …. hint: documentary!

C

 

Worlds

Hey Everyone,

It’s been a busy few weeks to say the least. Right after our amazing experience at the Pan Am Games, we were immediately brought back down to earth with a training camp in Bratislava, Slovakia. This camp had to be one of the hardest things I’ve done in my synchro career; physically, mentally and emotionally. It was like Vegas Week on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’….. And if you have never seen that show, it was hell. 

Meng pushed us to the edge and by the end of day one we all knew that this was going to be the hardest 5 days of our summer. Honestly, I expected it to be crazy, but it was worse than I imagined. It’s hard to be positive about it because at that point I just wanted to wipe it from my memory (and also why I never posted anything about it), but it paid off.  

 Trusting the coach is the key to days like this. I’m pretty sure by day 3, I thought she was trying to kill us. But she was right. This training camp changed my World Championships in a way I could never have thought possible. I am generally a very nervous, stressed competitor. I always feel like I will forget a move or make a mistake, which is not a thought you want 10 seconds before you walk onto the deck, but this competition has been the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

There came a point in my career that I started to dislike competing because the nerves would take over and I wouldn’t enjoy the moment as much. This year has changed that! 1st of all, competing at Pan Am in front of a home crowd was so gratifying. The swims itself were very hard, physically, but I loved every second I had in the water. It was an experience that I can’t even fully describe on paper. I loved every minute of it, even the pain I was feeling made this dream-like event so real.  

Gold medal swim @ Pan Am
 
Worlds, on the other hand, has been by far one of the easiest competitions I’ve had. The swims have felt amazing and I am having so much more fun than ever before…. Probably due to the fact that I’m not thinking about how much pain I’ll be in; thanks to hell week in Bratislava. We are so ready!! I don’t think this team has ever felt this together and this determined to prove how great we truly are!! 

It has been inspiring to be a part of such an incredible journey. Whether the marks are high or low, we will fight till the bitter end. We have come so far these last few years. This is my family; my home. I am so thankful to have been given the chance to swim with this team and to share a full array of emotions with these girls. We are warriors ready to fight a battle. We can not be any more prepared for these last few swims than we are right now and I believe that we can truly be proud of what we have achieved here.  

Tech Team @ Kazan 2015
 
In the end, it’s not about the marks. It’s about us and how we have improved as a team. We are Team Canada and we are champions. 

– C

We have arrived! 

Hello from Toronto!!! 

Yesterday Team Canada arrived in the village for our 1st day at the Pan Am Games! It was exciting, to say the least! The Synchro girls received our very own TownHouse. All of the 9 members of our team will be staying in one house together; meaning that we will be able to stay 100% connected throughout this incredible experience!   

Day 1: Arrival
 
 From there we had a meeting with our Chef de Mission, Curt Harnett, and other members of our support team to go through the protocols for the village as well as OUTFITTING!! We received a huge suitcase full of Canada Gear that we will wear everywhere during the Games. It’s like Christmas! The buzz around this whole team is so infectious. We have been smiling, laughing and repping our gear proudly as we walk around the village to meet other athletes of all nationalities!  
After a very eventful day of exploring the amazing facility TO2015 has given us, we move towards Day 2 with open arms. 

Day 2

As you could have probably guessed, yesterday was a big day for all of us and I just couldn’t get myself to sit down on the computer to type…. There was just so much to see! So naturally, I’m writing this on the bus coming from our competition venue after a great day of media sessions and training.  

 Synchro, as of this morning, was the 1st sport to be interviewed in these Games. We had a fun, very natural session with journalists; just to get the word out about our sport and our potential for the 1st GOLD medal of TO2015!!! Alexandre Bilodeau style!  

” Try to be serious”
 We received some great questions about our training, the pressure of a second consecutive gold, our connection as a team and how we keep this journey something that we look forward to on a daily basis. I don’t think people fully understand how tough our job really is, but by spreading this message we will hopefully be recognized as the elite athletes we are…. Not just a sport that looks good.  

 Training today was a success. We had a great Monday practice and with that brings some extra confidence and excitement. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow, therefore I conclude that it’s time for bed!!! Good night all!

– C 

Canada Day

Day 179

7 Days until #TO2015

Hello Everyone!!!

This is about 20 hours late, but HAPPY CANADA DAY!! Yesterday we had our Send-Off Show for the Pan Am Games and 11655121_10153165239252928_1834633805_nWorld Championships! It was a great turnout. Almost every swimmer had someone to support them….. Some swimmers *cough cough* had around 15+ family members!! Either way, it was a great day for us.

We always have a show before we leave for big competitions, but this year it was especially important to have the opportunity to simulate our routines with full competition make up and suits. We felt pretty great about our routines, and by our video analysis this morning, we did have some great performances!!

Today was….. to say the least, challenging! We had a pretty tough workout…. and by workout I mean 4 hours of non-stop routine swimming. Days like today are quite frustrating. As an athlete you’re wondering, “why is she making me do this?”. Well, it’s to make you better, believe it or not. I am not going to lie, today sucked. Not in the sense that we didn’t have good swims, because after the ridiculous amount of work we did, we had some of our BEST swims to date!

The worst part is the pain you feel in your lungs and your legs after restarting your run through 15 times, but you have to do it!!! Because no matter how terrible you feel, your teammates are feeling the same. They are pushing their limits just as much as you are and they want to make it through the routine without having the coach stop the music… again. Now that I am thinking about what we accomplished today, I am proud, but in the heat of the moment I was not a happy camper.

Today, we pushed another limit. Tomorrow we will push it even more!! This team is so strong and everyday I see us becoming more of a family! By doing these intense, semi-crazy, training days we are building something so incredible. I believe we will be ready for these games and for Worlds! It’s our time to SHINE!

– C

P.S 400 days to go!!!

One week to go!

Day 175

11 days until #TO2015

Hello Everyone,

Today marks ONE WEEK before we leave for the Pan Am Games!!! I think I can speak for the rest of the team when I say that we are very excited to compete in Toronto. These are our games and we are so happy to be celebrating our achievements, thus far, with our home country. It is going to be a very BIG, very exciting experience for us. Most of this team has not competed at a Pan Am Games, so we are going to soak in every minute of it.

photoshoot HL

I think it’s very fair to say that we have had our share of ups and downs this year. Like any team, we have been working out the kinks and have been striving to make our routines ones that the audience, and the judges, will remember… Over the last 175 days we have become so much more of a unit; One team that will compete together and win together. Whether that is a gold medal around our necks or the satisfaction of having a “best swim”, we will be smiling. I am proud to say that these girls are my family and every day they show me how strong they are. As a group, we can move mountains.

20141001-070602-25562589.jpgHeading to Toronto soon, I would like to say a quick thank you to everyone who has supported this journey. The coaches and athletes could not have made it this far without our tremendous staff of experts and of course the family and friends that keep us sane on a daily basis. Your listening ears…. well, reading minds, that keep this blog filled with viewers is an inspiration in itself. So THANK YOU!!

Now, go share!!! Share our journey with your friends and family! Throughout the Games we will be working with our photographer to keep this blog up-to-date; filling it with photos, videos and info from inside the Village, Competition Venue and all other amazing things, such as the Opening Ceremonies!! If you aren’t following this blog yet, now would be an exciting time to start!

For more details of our #TO2015 experience check out my FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts using the links. Have fun and share, share, share!!

– C

A quick message

Day 109

Hey everyone.

Here I am, just finished practice sitting on the bus typing out this little message to all of you. Knowing me this post wouldn’t be written once I made it home because I would end up passing out on my semi- comfy couch with my snuggie…. Which, in turn, would become a night of endless sleep and hibernation after a long day at the pool.

Now, I wanted to write a quick message to all of the people competing at the Canadian Open in approximately one week. It’s been a year since we’ve seen all of your beautiful faces and the time has come for all of us to be together again, to see friends, family and old teammates.

It’s always great to see the new “up and comers” who will compete for top spots in their age group. The future of synchronized swimming rests in your hands! Some of you may make the Olympic Team one day, others will continue to do synchro until their hearts content and others will become coaches, but either way synchro as a sport will have been changed by you and your cooperation.

Barcelona Training Camp 2013

 

Results are not nearly as important as a good swim. If there’s one thing I can tell you all before you go out to compete for your future it is to FEEL every second of your swim. Be present in the fact that your lungs burn, but your body hasn’t given up; your heart pounds with anticipation and fear, but there is still excitement! Enjoy!! These are the moments you will remember well past your synchro years. 

Barcelona 2013


Be fearless, live your passion and be the best person you can be. 

Good Luck!!

– C