Tag Archives: training

Kali

Here she is! A fellow Calgarian, Kali!

Hi synchro community!

My name is Kali, and I have been a member of the senior national team for the past 2 years. At the young age of 7, I was introduced to the beautiful sport of synchro. My auntie had thought it would be perfect for me as it combined my love of water, dance, and gymnastics. It turned out that she was right, and here I am 14 years later, still loving every minute of it.

I began my career with the Calgary Aquabelles for 11 years until I graduated from high school at theNational Sport School. Following my graduation, I was accepted to Concordia University, which pushed my decision to move to Montreal, and begin my training with Dollard Synchro until I was chosen to be a member of the national team. I am really enjoying and looking forward to everything being a national team member has to offer me. I’ve gained so much knowledge of the sport and have had many new experiences that help me in my everyday life.

Aside from training I am also coaching a wide array of athletes at Dollard Synchro from lessons, to the more experienced juniors. I’ve recognized my love of coaching, and helping individuals to find their passion is something that I will continue to do for many years to come.

Away from the pool, I am a member of a variety of fandoms, Harry Potter being my absolute favourite!!! 😀 Some of my hobbies include getting lost in a good book, watching TV shows endlessly (when I have the time), baking yummy desserts, and spending quality time with my family and friends.

I’m looking forward to the adventure ahead of me, and am excited to share parts of it with all of you! 🙂

You can follow me on social media at:

Facebook: Kali-Rae Wong
Instagram: @xoxkalirae

kali

 

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And so it begins! 

Good morning! 

It’s a snowy, dark morning here in Montreal as I walk out of my apartment for the 1st time of 2017. I don’t think I’ve had to wake up this early for almost 9 months. The only reason I would ever decide to stand on the sidewalk, waiting for the bus to arrive on a day like today, is Synchro! It’s DAY 1 of 2017 and of the next Olympic Quad! 

As I look back on my Christmas Holiday, for the 1st time in 4 years, I feel truly satisfied. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve made myself a life here or if it’s just because I really had a thorough visit with my family and friends back home, but I feel good; excited even, to get back to training with this team again. 

I remember this day 4 years ago. There was maybe 5 of us who came from the same generation of athletes and we were so young!! Imagine moving out of your home (which all of us had to do) at 18, finding an apartment and being told on day 1 that you are training for the Olympics. It’s a surreal feeling to sit there at that age and know that your spot on the team is never guaranteed, but you have to train and compete like you are going to the Olympics with this group of girls. It’s like writing your story, but without knowing the ending! 

Now that I know the end of that last book, I feel different sensations on day 1. Excitement knowing that this is just the beginning, happiness knowing I’m about to see my synchro family in a few short minutes, confidence knowing that I now have the experience of all but one competition, and ready to completely accept everything that will happen this year! 

2016 was a hardddddddddd year for us to say the least and I think that 2017 owes us some good things. 

Here’s to a great year! 


C

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”

Enjoy!! 🙂

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!!!

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

 

Concussions: Part 2

The aftermath of a hit to the head is something surreal. Everything started to go in slow motion, from the time I saw the bubbles underwater to breathing for the first time to then trying to swim to the side of the pool. My coach at the time, was watching me. I told her I felt fine, but as a precaution, she tested my pupils.

One way to know if your brain has been raddled around too hard is by testing the reaction of your pupils. Slow (or no) reaction means there’s something wrong and a normal reaction means everything should be fine. I had slow pupils, but nothing that looked too serious. I was told to get out of the water and lay down, away from lights and loud noises. At first everything felt fine, but as the minutes and hours dragged on the symptoms started rolling in.

Soon I had been out of the pool for a month…

Then 2…

Then 3 months.

I had stopped eating in an attempt to maintain a figure suitable for Synchro and my mind was tired of sitting alone in dark rooms unable to go outside with friends. I was depressed and in pain.

No one really understands what a brain injury feels like, and it is also a different experience for everyone who has one! I felt as if knives were stabbing my eye balls from the inside out. Slowly I started to feel better and therefore, I started training again. I even started to FEEL happy again, but soon after I thought I was finally recovered I received a kick to the head that would set me back again.

I had taken what I thought was necessary rest and trusting my own judgment went on to train again. That year, I went on to win National Champion in all 5 events I had entered.  I had achieved what I wanted, but the brain is a funny thing… 

For 2 years after my initial concussion I felt that stabbing pain, every single day. Some days it was worse, some days it was bearable.

…To be continued…

 

Concussions: Part 1

Not many people understand why I am an advocate for concussion awareness. My experience with concussions was horrible, to say the least, and everyone in this sport or any other high impact sport needs to understand the risks before they jump in head first. To this day I still take these risks… 3 concussions later, for the pure passion of my sport.

It was approximately 11am on July 2nd. I remember it being a beautiful sunny day, just like any other in Montreal. I only spent a few weeks training with the Junior National Team and I have to admit that I was scared out of my mind.

Meng, the Junior National Team coach in 2010, was fierce… Much like she is now, although after spending these past 4 years with her I understand her method more clearly…. She was THE coach. She made everything happen and we were swimming for perfection. Anything below that was a failure and Meng gave us the belief that we could reach that goal. This team, built with a strong and talented group of girls, was the hardest working team I had ever been on. Up until now, synchro had been my passion. I did the job I had to do for myself and for the pure joy of competing, but with Meng, it was something you wanted to do for her, for the team. We fought and we were awesome!!

I was on such a high, understanding that my place on the team could be temporary, I had made the top 8. I was one of the youngest on the team, with 3 years left at that level. I was working hard, gaining experience from all the girls ahead of me. It was on this day, July 2nd 2010, that my journey on this team would be over.

Picture yourself lifting a girl out of the water. The plan is that she would reach a split in the air above your head and then decend in the same way she came up. Sounds easy enough! We lifted her, myself as the base, giving her all the energy we could to make a successful highlight. “Let’s make it even better”, we thought! “What if we could just give her enough push so that she would go over top of Claudia’s head and land in front of her?” Now-a-days this has been done quite a bit, but back then this was something new… Other teams have done it before, but for me this was a new challenge! The plan was in motion with everyone on the same page, or so we thought… We tried the highlight and BOOM.

Searing pain rushed through my body like an electric shock. I remember seeing bubbles all around me, then closing my eyes and feeling hands grabbing at me to come back up to the surface. This moment probably lasted around 3 seconds but for me it was minutes.

…To be continued…

Olympic Qualifying Week

Hey Everyone, 

Well, the time is finally upon us! We have arrived in Rio for our Olympic Qualifier!!! We have been waiting for this moment for the last 4 years, with many obstacles along the way, we have come back stronger every time. With each new struggle we have grown closer and learned how to fight for this dream TOGETHER, as one unit. 

As Day 2 of training comes to a close, we are embracing another new challenge. The weather. Over the past few days we have had quite a bit of rain, at one point cancelling practices all together. So with that we are staying calm, focusing on the task at hand and just “going with the flow.” Right now the only important thing is controlling what we know we can control and swimming our hearts out each day until we compete!

On behalf of the team, I would like to say a quick thank you to all of the people who have helped us get to this point in our lives:

To our parents; without your guidence and wisdom we would not have chosen such a sport or might not have even know what synchronized swimming is. It is imperative that you know how much of our goals and our personalities come from what fantastic people you are. We love you…. almost so much it hurts! 

To our 1st coaches; thank you for pushing us to become athletes, for creating new dreams and for believing in the abilities we had at such a young age.

To the coaches that brought us to National Stream Competitions/International Competitions; what would we have done without you? Most of us have the fire within us, but it takes an incredible coach to bring those emotions forward through a performance. Thank you for preparing us for this extraordinary goal and never letting us stray from the path. 

To our coaches and IST Team here at Synchro Canada; it sure does take a village. Without your coaching, analysis, patience and hard work we, as a team, would not be the same women we are today. These last 4 years we have grown into athletes that you have helped mould and shape into beautiful, courageous human beings.

We are so proud to be sharing this journey with YOU, each and every person who has created this dream and who has given us the opportunity to step up to the plate. 

Training at the hotel when practice got cancelled!
 2 more days of training to go!!!! 

C

Puerto Rico

5 days until offical training in Rio

Hey Everyone, 

Well, it has been about a week an a half since we have been training here in San Juan and I must say it’s been an intense, yet gratifying camp so far! We have taken a new approach towards this competition, mainly being that we are really starting to simulate what it will be like swimming in Rio. For example, here in Puerto Rico we have a half open pool, giving us a bit of the feeling of swimming outside with the sun as well as some wind which is a force that we don’t get to feel on a daily basis. It has been a great team building experience to work through each situation we have faced, as well as some we might face in the future. 

  
We have also taken some large steps forward as we are finally finding that “sweet spot” we need to compete at our best. A sense of unity is rising within us. For all of us, even for our last olymian on the team, having to qualify is a new experience. It has been an uphill battle, both mentally and physically, to prepare ourselves for an event of such magnitude, and what an amazing feeling it is! We are finally here!!! We have been training our entire lives for this moment. The chance to compete at the Olympic Level for our country, in front of some of our biggest supporters is something that will live with us beyond these qualifiers as well as beyond the Olympic Games. We are in complete control of this journey, knowing that we have done everything in our power to get us to this stage of our careers. We are going to go in fighting, never doubting that we are fully prepared for this challenge. 

After a great tech swim in Puerto Rico