Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:59PM EDT
MONTREAL- Imagine running a race while holding your breath.
For synchronized swimmers like Jacqueline Simoneau, that’s par for the course.
The 15-year-old spends 75 per cent of her routines underwater.
Jacqueline Simoneau, 15, is a champion synchronized swimmer (April 25, 2012)
Next week she will be heading to Victoria, BC for her first Junior National Championship, and during that competition she hopes to cement her place on the Canadian Junior National Team.
If she makes it she will travel to the World Junior Championships which begin in Volos, Greece on September 12.
The determination to compete at the highest level has Jacqueline in the pool 30 hours a week.
“There’s just something about the water that just seems to make me happy each time I’m in it,” said Jacqueline.
She is currently the national solo champion for her age group, and her teammates at the Montreal Sychro Club in St. Michel are national champions.
“Every day there’s a goal,” said her mother Lynda South-Simoneau. “There’s a daily objective, there’s a weekly objective, there’s a yearly objective. And she so far has been very fortunate to meet all the ones she’s set for herself.”
For Jacqueline making up new routines helps satisfy her artistic side, while also challenging her endurance, strength and flexibility.
“Our coach puts on the music at first and she just tells us ‘Go. Do whatever inspires you.’ And some of those movements she’s like ‘oh I like that, I like that.” And she puts those in,” said Jacqueline.
Her coach, Johana Vasquez, says she has the qualities to be successful in the sport.
“If she sees somebody doing something she can do it too. For her if anyone can do it she can do it,” said Vasquez.
With this year’s goal of competing in Greece in her sights, and with dozens of international and national medals in her past, it’s no surprise to hear what she expects for her future.
“Long term goal would be to go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, also to go to the World Championships.”
CBC’s Montrealer of the Week