OTTAWA – World finalist Olivia Anderson is amongst six swimmers who will be receiving bursaries from the Victor Davis Memorial Fund to help them continue pursuing their goals.
The fund was established in memory of Davis, who had a remarkable swimming career for Canada. His success extended internationally where he had an outstanding performance at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, punctuated by three medals including 200-m breaststroke gold. At the Seoul 1988 Olympics, he brought home a third Olympic silver medal with a world-record split time in the breaststroke leg of the 4×100-m medley relay.
Shortly after his retirement from competitive swimming, Davis passed away at the age of 25. Years later, his legacy still carries on and he continues to inspire current and future Canadian swimmers. Each year, Canadian swimmers are selected to receive an award from the Victor Davis Memorial Fund that recognizes his impact on swimming in Canada. The fund has awarded bursaries totaling $161,500 to help offset training costs for 134 athletes, many of whom have gone on to represent Canada at Olympics and other international events.
Here are this year’s recipients of the individual $1,500 bursaries:
Olivia Anderson, Etobicoke Swimming
Coach: Kevin Thorburn
Mississauga native Olivia Anderson, 17, had a great year in 2016. At the Olympic & Para-swimming Trials in Toronto, she finished second behind two-time Olympian Brittany MacLean in the 800-m freestyle. She quickly followed that up with an impressive performance at the Canadian Swimming Championships in Edmonton, earning two gold medals (800 & 1,500 free). She continued her breakout year with a silver and a bronze in the 800 and 1,500 free at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Maui, then a seventh-place finish at the FINA World Championships (25m) in Windsor, Ont., her first senior international final.
Mehdi Ayoubi, CAMO Natation
Coach: Greg Arkhurst
Mehdi Ayoubi, 18, emigrated from Morocco when he was 11 years old and has found his passion in swimming. Ayoubi had the honour of swimming in Maui at the 2016 Pan- Pacific Championships, placing fifth in the 50-m freestyle. He and his coach have implemented high performance goals in hope that he will be able to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Madison Broad, Chatham Pool Sharks
Coach: Kyle Pinsonnault
Madison Broad of Wallaceburgh, Ont., had a memorable year where she excelled at the Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary. The 16-year-old took home a gold medal in the 50-m backstroke and two silver medals in the 100 and 200 back.
Brooklyn Douthwright, Codiac Vikings Aquatic Club
Coach: Dale Doucette
Brooklyn Douthwright of Moncton, N.B., made headlines in 2015 when she became the youngest person to ever swim the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick. Douthwright, who was only 12 years old at the time of the swim, set a world record for her feat. Now 13, she earned the honours for Top 13-year-old female at the 2016 Age Group Championships. The recognition was well-deserved as she had a dominant performance highlighted by five gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
Gabe Mastromatteo, Kenora Swimming Sharks
Coach: Janet Hyslop
Gabe Mastromatteo from Kenora, Ont., has his eyes set on the 2020 Olympics. The 14-year-old had a standout performance at the 2016 Age Group Championships. Mastromatteo describes himself as “passionate breaststroker” and the results speak for themselves. His performance in the 14-year-old boys’ 100-m breast earned him a gold medal along with the Canadian age group record. He also added four additional golds in Calgary, finishing first in the 50 and 200 breast and the 200 and 400 individual medley.
Tyler Wall, KISU Swim Club
Coach: Tina Hoeben
Tyler Wall, of Penticton, B.C. had a strong showing at this past year’s Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary, earning himself four medals. The 15-year-old’s winnings include a gold in the 100-m backstroke, silver in the 200 back and the 50 freestyle, and a bronze in the 200 medley.
The Victor Davis Fund was established in 1990 and relies on donations, large or small, to carry on the legacy of one of Canada’s most cherished swimmers. We encourage members of the swimming community to contribute at www.swimming.ca/donations