BUENOS AIRES, Argentina– 8 young athletes have landed in Buenos Aires for the start of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Swimming Canada has sent a team of 4 males and 4 females to represent Canada at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. The team includes Finlay Knox, Joshua Liendo, Alexander Milanovich, Sebastian Somerset, Madison Broad, Nina Kucheran, Kyla Leibel, and Avery Wiseman.
The 2018 multi-sport Games kick off Saturday with the opening ceremonies and the swimming events get underway Sunday.
Team member Kyla Leibel of Red Deer, Alta., will use her experience representing Canada at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan to help her prepare to compete on the international stage again.
“It was nice to see how all the senior and more experienced athletes work around the pool and see how they deal with their performance and pressure,” said Leibel.
Leibel, who turns 17 on Tuesday, qualified for her first senior national team at the 2018 Canadian Swimming trials in July. She finished third in the 100-m freestyle and qualified to be part of the 4×100-m freestyle relay.
Leibel is scheduled to swim the 100-m and 200-m freestyle, the 50-m and 100-m butterfly and will be a member of the mixed and women’s 4×100-m freestyle and 4×100-m medley relays.
“I’m really excited to meet other people from other countries and get an Olympic type of experience,” said Leibel. “I’m also excited to have fun with my teammates!”
Leibel wasn’t the only one who had a successful summer. The rest of the Youth Olympic team also had the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships that took place in August in Fiji.
Nina Kucheran, Avery Wiseman, Madison Broad, and Joshua Liendo all came home from Fiji with medals. Kucheran captured two silver medals in the 100-m Breaststroke and the 4×100-m medley relay. Wiseman also gained a medal in the 100-m breaststroke by finishing third and Joshua Liendo was a member of the 4×100-m medley relay that came third.
Broad had an impressive meet leaving the competition with 3 medals. She won two silvers in the 200-m butterfly and the 4×100-m medley relay and a bronze in the 100-m backstroke.
The Youth Olympic Games will help these young athletes gain more experience competing internationally. The event will help them learn how to race the best in the world in their age group and teach them skills that will help prepare them for the senior national team for the next coming years.
“The tremendous value of this international multi-sport experience will contribute to these swimmers overall progress and the development as athletes on the path to our senior team in Tokyo,” said Ken McKinnon, Swimming Canada’s national development coach.
The swimming begins Sunday and will carry through until Friday, October 12. You can check out the full schedule here: https://www.buenosaires2018.com/results/en/swimming/daily-schedule.htm?lng=en