36 Canadian swimmers announced as first Santiago 2023 team named to Team Canada
TORONTO (April 6, 2023) – Swimming Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have unveiled Canada’s pool swimming team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. This is the first Canadian team to be announced for the upcoming Games in Chile.
Team Canada’s pool swimming athletes for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Javier Acevedo (Toronto, Ont.)
Sophie Angus (Weston, Connecticut)
Alex Axon (Newmarket, Ont.)
Jeremy Bagshaw (Victoria, B.C)
Timothe Barbeau (Montreal, Que.)
Katrina Bellio (Mississauga, Ont.)
Stephen Calkins (Calgary, Alta.)
Benjamin Cote (Pinellas Park, Florida)
James Dergousoff (Christina Lake, B.C)
Raben Dommann (North Vancouver, B.C)
Brooklyn Douthwright (Riverview, N.B)
Emma Finlin (Edmonton, Alta.)
Katie Forrester (Oakville, Ont.)
Édouard Fullum-Huot (Montreal, Que.)
Collyn Gagne (Milton, Ont.)
Maddy Gatrall (Windsor, Ont.)
Danielle Hanus (Newmarket, Ont.)
Mary-Sophie Harvey (Trois-Rivières, Que.)
Finlay Knox (Okotoks, Alta.)
Margaret (Maggie) Mac Neil (London, Ont.)
Gabriel Mastromatteo (Kenora, Ont.)
Hugh McNeill (Langley, B.C)
Ben Miller (Tigard, Oregon)
Rachel Nicol (Lethbridge, Alta.)
Emma O’Croinin (Edmonton, Alta.)
Keir Ogilvie (Victoria, B.C)
Laila Oravsky (Minesing, Ont.)
Sydney Pickrem (Halifax, N.S)
Katerine Savard (Pont-Rouge, Que.)
Rebecca Smith (Red Deer, Alta.)
Brayden Taivassalo (Newmarket, Ont.)
Blake Tierney (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Ella Varga (Denver, Colorado)
Kelsey Wog (Winnipeg, Man.)
Yu Tong Wu (Surrey, B.C)
Mabel Zavaros (Burlington, Ont.)
The 36 athletes (18 men, 18 women) were selected for Team Canada based on their performances at the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials that took place from March 28 to April 2 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. The team is a mixture of young swimmers aiming to gain experience and veterans who will use Santiago 2023 as an important preparation opportunity on the road to Paris 2024. Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 swimming team includes 11 Olympians. Canadian swimmers won 15 medals, including one gold, eight silver and six bronze at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Lima 2019 was a key event for Team Canada, with swimmers such as Mary-Sophie Harvey, Katerine Savard and Javier Acevedo using the event as a springboard to become key members of the Canadian Tokyo 2020 Olympic swimming team.
Margaret (Maggie) Mac Neil, who won a gold, a silver and a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, is one of 11 Olympians competing in swimming at Santiago 2023.
“I’m really excited to be able to represent Canada at my first Pan Am Games,” said Mac Neil. “I remember when Toronto hosted it in 2015 it was such a big deal. I’m really excited to be going to Chile because they’re going to host such an amazing Games.
“The Pan American Games are such important stepping stones with the Olympic Games usually happening the following year. It will be great for our team to get that village experience and practice in a major Games environment. Things may go wrong or not go according to plan in that environment and that’s just practicing for the big show the next year.“
Swimming Canada High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson said the Games will play a key role in Canada’s busy schedule in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“This is an important year building into 2024 from World Aquatics Championships to Pan Am Games, with Olympic qualification at another world championships early next year and into our Trials,” said Atkinson. “This year we’ve tried to take a common-sense, individual approach with our swimmers, having different athletes race at different events. This will be a very experienced group, along with first-time team members going to the Games. Thanks to the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee, we look forward to a fantastic Games environment on the pathway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
Swimming at Santiago 2023 will take place October 21-25 (Days 1 to 5) at the Centro Acuático del Estadio Nacional.
“I am thrilled to welcome the first athletes selected to Team Canada: the swimmers,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “With a mix of veterans and youth, the experience and energy that they bring to Team Canada will be invaluable. I can’t wait to witness the moments of magic that they are sure to put on display in the pool in Santiago!”
Atkinson will serve as Team Leader, Iain McDonald will be the assistant team leader and Janice Hanan the team manager.
Scott Talbot, Head Coach of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Vancouver, will take on the role of head coach for the team. It will be the first national team head coach appointment for the two-time Olympian from New Zealand, who has held roles on New Zealand’s and Australia’s national teams, and is part of the Canadian staff for this summer’s World Aquatics Championships.
Team Canada’s pool swimming team coaches and support staff for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
John Atkinson (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Leader
Iain McDonald (Montreal, Que.) – Assistant Team Leader
Janice Hanan (Victoria, B.C) – Team Manager
Scott Talbot – Head Coach
Rob Novak – Team Coach
Sierra Moores – Team Coach
Vlastimil Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) – Team Coach
Liam Donnelly (Campbellville, Ont.) – Team Coach
Mike Blondal (Calgary, Alta.) – Team Coach
Johnny Fuller (Toronto, Ont.) – Athletic Therapist
Rick Pelletier (Calgary, Alta.) – Massage Therapist
Dr. Sara Forsyth (Vancouver, B.C) – Physician
Tom Vandenbogaerde (Vancouver, B.C) – Performance Scientist
Graham Olson (Saskatoon, Sask.) – Race Analysis
The personal coaches for the athletes who have been selected for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games team are:
The Canadian open water swimming team will be announced at a later date.
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
Santiago 2023 will be the first time that Chile hosts the Pan American Games. The Games begin on October 20 and end on November 5, 2023, and will feature approximately 7000 athletes from 41 countries competing in 39 sports.
Nathan White, Senior Manager, Communications
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee