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Team Canada artistic swimmers set to make a splash at Paris 2024

A talented group of Canadian artistic swimmers no longer have to hold their breath regarding their Olympic dreams as they are officially named to Team Canada for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Considered by many to be underdogs, Team Canada qualified for both the duet and team events with their performances at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in February. It was a show of steady progress after a team bronze medal this past fall at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games.

Work has continued for the team since qualifying, including a trip to compete at the newly inaugurated Aquatics Centre in Paris where the World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup served as the venue’s Olympic test event. Team Canada took home silver in the team free routine, with the highest degree of difficulty in the field. More recently, the team won medals in all three routines (technical, free, acrobatic) at the Canadian stop on the World Cup circuit, to the delight of the home crowd in Markham, Ontario.

Eight artistic swimmers hold hands as they rise out of the water
Team Canada competes in the team free routine at the 2024 World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup in Markham, Ontario (Canada Artistic Swimming/Antoine Saito)

“Going to the Olympics is something we’ve been dreaming about and working towards for so long — I can’t really put into words how much it means to me,” said team co-captain Kenzie Priddell, who had travelled to Tokyo 2020 as the team’s alternate. “This team is so strong and so resilient, and we’ve overcome so many challenges in the past year that we know we’ll be able to overcome whatever is thrown at us in Paris, because we have such a special bond.”  

The team will look to two-time Olympian Jacqueline Simoneau for leadership heading into her third Games at Paris 2024. Simoneau retired from competition following Tokyo 2020 to focus on her schooling, but made the decision to return to the sport and national team in 2023 to help them make a bid for Paris. 

“⁠⁠Competing in Paris, a city with such rich sporting history, will be incredibly inspiring,” said Simoneau. “As I approach my third Olympic Games, I am filled with gratitude for everyone who has supported me along this journey and for the opportunity to share this experience with an incredible, unified team. I’m ready to give my all for Canada!”

In addition to the team event, Simoneau will compete in the duet event with Audrey Lamothe. The duo made their competitive debut together at the 2024 World Championships where they placed fifth in the duet free and seventh in duet technical. At those world championships, Simoneau also won gold in the solo free routine, an event not included on the Olympic program, becoming Canada’s first world champion in artistic swimming in more than 30 years.

Artistic swimming duet Jacqueline Simoneau and Audrey Lamothe compete
Jacqueline Simoneau and Audrey Lamothe compete at the 2024 World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup in Markham, Ontario. (Canada Artistic Swimming/Antoine Saito)

Following the successful 2024 World Aquatics Championships, the duet of Lamothe and Simoneau continued to build momentum and make significant progress. They won bronze in both the duet technical and duet free programs at the Paris World Cup, and followed that up with two silver medals at home at the Markham World Cup. 

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Lamothe competed primarily as a soloist, which included a fourth-place finish at the 2023 World Championships. To achieve her goal of competing at the Olympic Games, she has recently focused her efforts on training the duet and team events. Lamothe is thrilled to be making her Olympic debut alongside Simoneau. 

“Going to the Olympics is the culmination of a dream I’ve had since I was seven years old. Going there with Jackie is really the cherry on top for me. I’ve already learned so much from her, and to be guided and be able to go through this experience together, I couldn’t ask for more,” said Lamothe.

For many of the younger athletes on Team Canada, including Lamothe, Simoneau was a childhood hero as they entered the sport. For Simoneau, stepping into a leadership role for younger athletes on the team feels like a full circle moment. At her own first Olympic Games, she swam with and was supported by her own athletic idol, Karine Thomas.

As they were officially welcomed to Team Canada by Paris 2024 Chef de Mission Bruny Surin, the artistic swimming team found out they would be receiving a bursary from the Canadian Olympic Foundation’s “Great to Gold” initiative, worth a total of $80,000 to be split among the athletes. The generous donation will be instrumental in supporting the needs of the athletes as they continue on the road to Paris 2024.

Artistic swimming will take place August 5 to August 10.

Team Canada Artistic Swimmers at Paris 2024: 

Scarlett Finn (Toronto, Ont.)
Audrey Lamothe (Montreal, Que.)
Jonnie Newman (Calgary, Alta.)
Raphaelle Plante (Quebec, Que.)
Kenzie Priddell (Regina, Sask.)
Claire Scheffel (Brantford, Ont.)
Jacqueline Simoneau (Saint-Laurent, Que)
Florence Tremblay (Rimouski, Que.)
Sydney Carroll (Saskatoon, Sask.)*

*Travelling Alternate

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