My name is Sam and I have been a member of the senior national team since fall 2012. I have been swimming for 16 years now and am currently 22 years old. I started synchro in Guelph, Ontario. I made my first national team in 2011. My favourite competition so far has been the Pan Am games in 2015 held in Toronto. Competing on home soil and in front of my friends and family was an experience I’ll never forget.
Being apart of the national team allows me to visit many places around the world and has really sparked my love for travel. My favourite place that I have traveled to so far is Japan!
I have a rabbit named pork chop (follow princess_pork_chop1 on Instagram for pics)!🐰
I am currently attending Concordia university part time. After swimming I wish to pursue a career as a physiotherapist.
Hi! My name is Gwen, I am 18 years old and currently in my 8th year of synchronized swimming. The last club I swam with before joining the Centre of Excellence was Excel Synchro where I was coached by Teresa Alentejano. Synchro has given me many awesome opportunities to travel the world to countries like Russia and Prague! I look forward to competing at more international competitions representing Canada in the future! Outside of synchro, I am currently studying linguistics at Concordia. In my free time I enjoy reading, painting and listening to good music! I also love animals, especially dogs, and my favorite color is pink! You can follow me on my social media accounts here: Instagram: @gwen_mcguire Facebook: Gwen McGuire
Well this has been the most incredible, frustrating, life changing and heart wrenching month. As I said in my last post, we definitely had to fight HARD for that last free swim.
The funny thing about big moments like these are all the little pieces that pull the entire experience together. Out of this whole competition there is about one special connection that is still clear in my mind…
Right before the free swim we had a talk with Meng and our captain about what we had to do. We needed to create a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ swim that we could be proud of. I remember standing at the front of the line up waiting to walk on the deck. Meng appeared on the other side of the pool, 25 metres away, put up her arms into a muscle man and then pointed at us as if to say “it’s your time!” With no hesitation I gave her a nod showing that I knew was she was asking for and that we were going to do it. We did.
The next, and final, swim we wanted to rock was the Combo! We knew that it was our last time competing in the Kazan Arena and we needed to make it count…. “Torrential downpour” would be the 1st thing that comes to mind. It was freezing cold, the roof was actually leaking and streets were flooding, causing the judges to wear these comical plastic covers. I remember stepping onto the deck saying, “oh! We’re leaking!”
Because of the difference in temperature between the water and the air, there was a fog over the pool. It was like we had trained all day without goggles (which would create a white film over our eyes) but no, it was just the weather. Took us a while to realize it!! The rain, of course, also brought some challenges for the music system which started to malfunction just before this picture was taken…. If you look close enough you’ll see our teammate in the background signalling to our coaches that the music had cut out. We started tapping underwater and saved the ending! Definitely something we won’t forget!!
Although in some ways we ended this meet disappointed, we couldn’t have asked for better performances. We pulled out great swims when they counted and made our coaches proud. Now time for a little vacation before starting to work on new routines and harder training sessions as we get ready for the Olympic Qualifier in March.
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.
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.
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.