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
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!!!
“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!!
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!
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!
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.
2015 has been an increcdible year, filled with many obstacles, ups, downs, and of course some of the most memorable moments of my life. It had it’s fair share of dissapointments, but just as equally it had
a great amount of joy. I could say that I would be even more satisfied if I had ended my synchro year with great results at Worlds, but there really is no point. Being bitter about the past does nothing but make you miserable… Looking back, I am not happy nor sad. I learned from the experience and that is all that matters, although gold at Pan-Am sure makes 2015 a year to remember.
This year has been one of education. I have been taught about
patience, teamwork, respect and have expanding horizon of new traits that will aid in my future, whether it is in the pool or outside of it. As many of you know by now, I am one of the team captains. At first I didn’t quite know how hard it would be to put myself out there, to place myself in front of a group of girls and lead them. I had to do a lot of adjusting! In the pool, I can adapt to everyone else within a matter of seconds, but when it came to being a leader for the team I had no clue how much of my personality I would have to calm in order to make sure everyone was comfortable. Let’s just say that my fiery ways are not always the best in leading a group of women. It took months for me to know what I was doing.
To understand how each athlete reacts in every situation (though I am still learning every day) and to see how positive a calm leader was to the team. I can’t say I have figured it all out because I believe that I still can improve myself to help the team grow, but as a group I am happy to see that we are meshing well and our primary focus is for the Olympic qualifier in 2016.
This year I started a new project; this Blog!! It has been incredibly helpful and fun to share with you ALL of the adventures we have been on! From Rio at the beginning of this year, through to the joy of Pan Am, the tough love in Slovakia and the struggles of Russia, this blog has given me another sense of purpose. I love sharing my life and what is going on with the team because I think it is SO important that we can have a support system that stretches beyond just Canada!
There is also another amazing project in the making and that is the Documentary that is being directed by Jérémie Battaglia (http://jeremiebattaglia.com). He has an incredible eye and has been with us through the entire of 2015, becoming part of the family as we head to the Qualifier! The film will focus on our training, our happy moments as well as some of the tough times as we prepare for the Qualifier and the Olympics. I am very nervous to see the final result, just because I will be reliving some of our most vulnerable moments as individuals and as teammates, but I know that he will do a great job!
Thank you for your support, if you would like to follow the blog please click the link in the side bar on the left! Wishing you all the best for the New Year and may 2016 bring even more spectacular moments!
Today marks our last training session before Synchro Canada’s National Team Selection. Starting bright and early tomorrow, there will be 60+ girls competing at the Olympic Stadium.
This is the most we’ve ever had! Lots of the girls arriving are still in their junior age category which means that they will not be competing in our group, but they will for sure be watched as they are the FUTURE!
Newbies, enjoy the experience! It will, hopefully, push you to be the best you can be and I would love to see you fight for something you’re passionate about. You only get one chance at a first impression, so show us what you got!
This weekend I had a bit of an epiphany. I don’t generally have positive dreams about Synchro…. Its a lot of nightmares of forgetting the routine, doing insane workouts or getting to compete without my competition suit packed (which, embarrassingly, has happened to me), but this weekend I dreamt of Qualifying for the Olympics. I can’t shake this feeling of joy and a sense of passion for this sport which gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. It’s refreshing.
I can see it now. The 8 of us standing on the deck in Rio, waiting for marks that will decide whether we go to the Olympics or make other arrangements… I see the marks coming up showing us that we have made it! Tears, screams, maybe some hugging with shocked, but relieved faces. Even as I write this, there is a frog in my throat trying to keep down the tears. I can feel all the JOY that will come from all of our hard work.
I know I don’t make it easy, the girls can tell you that! I am tough and I ask a lot from my teammates because I know that we are good! We’ve got the talent, we have the chemistry, now we just have to practice like we want to perform at the Qualifier. We are capable of going to the Olympics! I know that if we play our cards right, we will be ready…
WE will do this for us, for the thousands of hours we have spent in the pool together, for the sacrifices we have made, for the people who have helped us get here and again FOR US!