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!
For 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!
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
Today I dedicate my blog to the wonderfully inspiring, Vanessa. In the recent European Games in Baku, Vanessa and two of her teammates were victim to a horrific bus accident at the Athletes Village. The news of this incident hit us hard half way across the world and we have been praying for them ever since. Her two teammates have recovered well, but it has come to our attention that Vanessa, after multiple surgeries is now Paraplegic.
So we ask all of you to support Vanessa in this fight. Her courage has taken her this far and with our help we can show her how much her bravery has touched us around the world. We give you this small challenge: Post a picture or video of you doing Synchronized Swimming with the hashtag #SwimForVanessa and show your support for this brave woman.
I am proud to say that there is a lot of excitement surrounding this new season. Obviously, there is some stress as well, but we have a ton of great things coming to us as we prepare for our “race to the finish line”.
We have started creating some new routines for the Qualifier. These take time, but we have made fantastic headway opening our minds to new ideas and storylines. We have managed to find some inspiration through a theme, which took us approximately 2 weeks to agree upon, but finally it’s something we can visualize ourselves competing internationally and swimming with excitement.
I have been named tech team captain, to help Marie-Lou Morin as we will now be sharing responsibility for the team. This is a new challenge for me as I must be positive enough to encourage, but tough enough to strive for results from the girls (and myself). I think this opportunity will teach me amazing things for my future not just as a synchronized swimmer but also as an individual. Those who know me understand how much I expect from my teammates as well as how much pressure I put on myself to be the best I can be. I am thrilled to see how much progress we can make in the coming weeks and will try to update this blog more often, as I am finally accustomed to my daily routine!
So here’s an idea! A “Throwback Thursday” version of how I started my Synchro Career! Now….. Taking it way back to the year 2000.
I was in Gymnastics at the time, age 6, watching my favourite Olympian compete. His name is Kyle Shewfelt. The entire club was watching him at his 1st Olympic games. I remember the feeling I got when I saw the games on the big screen, goosebumps. I wanted to end up where he was, on the world stage! That’s when I first got my “Olympic Bug”. Within these Games, I saw Synchronized Swimming for the first time! They were AMAZING! I was in awe of the strength and beauty that came with this sport! It was effortless for these women and as every synchro swimmer knows, if it looks easy to the audience then we did our job! These athletes showed me that I could be powerful, successful and inspirational as a young women. Of course when I was 6 my only thought was “Mommy, I wanna do that!” But now I realize that this particular moment in my life was a very important one!! I knew right then and there that this is what I wanted to do.
After unfortunate events that caused my Gymnast career to come to a close (i.e. landing on my face every day) and 2 years of begging my parents for a synchro lesson, I finally got my chance!! I joined the Calgary Aquabelles in 2002.
10 years later, I made the Canadian Senior National Team.
There is so much to share with all of you from 2002 to Present Day, but for now here is how I started!