Swimming Olympians Soak In 2010 Winter Games

VANCOUVER (February 9, 2010) – As the World will turn to Canada for 2010 Winter Olympiads in a less than a week, several Canadian Olympic swimmers will move from the warm waters of a pool to the cold ice and snow, to support, cheer, but most of all, get re-energized by the Games.  
Brent Hayden of Mission BC, Annamay Pierse of Edmonton, Scott Dickens of Burlington ON, Rick Say of Salmon Arm, Benoit Huot of Montreal and Richard Hortness of Medicine Hat will be amongst the swimming Olympians engaged in the Winter Games. In addition, Swimming Canada CEO and National Coach Pierre Lafontaine will be onsite as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Coaching Mentorship Program.
Passing on the Torch
For 3-time Swimming Olympian Rick Say of Victoria, the 2010 Winter Games will be his fourth, but this time, Rick will be contributing to the athletes well-being by servicing and mentoring Whistler based competitors. As an athlete representative for the COC mission staff, Say will share his experiences from past games and ensure that the athletes get the services they need in their new home.  
“It’s very important that our Canadian athletes feel at ease with all the extras you get when you compete at an Olympic Games,” said Say.  “The COC has put together a terrific group of experts to help facilitate our athletes’ stay in the village and I’m very happy to be part of contributing to their success.”
Building future leaders
Pierre Lafontaine, a prominent name in Canadian and International sports, will be providing mentorship opportunities to Summer Coaches who are on the brink of becoming the next wave of Olympic level Coaches.
“My role with these young coaches will be to get them to experience all the little details you have to face when you’re at major multi-sport games.  Whether it’s team logistics, transportation, accreditation, athlete villages, working with the media, taking part in these sessions will be a valuable opportunity for them to live it before they hit the ground in London 2012” said Lafontaine.

Building Dreams

Three-time Paralympic Swimming Champion Benoit Huot of Montreal will be spending time promoting and advocating Canadian Olympic and Paralympic sports as part of the Canadian Pavilion based in Vancouver.  “My role will be to talk about sports to the general public.  It’s great to be involved in the Vancouver games and talk to people on a something that I’m so passionate about,” said Huot.
Vancouver based Olympic swimmers Annamay Pierse, Brent Hayden and Scott Dickens will be returning home from warm weather winter training camps.  Being in Vancouver during the Games was an important part of their preparation for this summer’s major events.
“It is always motivational to see fellow Canadians succeed, and I try as much as possible to use that as inspiration for my own swimming,” says Pierse.  “Seeing how well Canadians do this winter is for sure going to help my swimming this summer, I want to carry on the success of our nation, and will be training extra hard to do so.”
Hayden says that having the Olympics hosted in Canada is a great motivator as he prepares to compete in the 2012 London Games.  “It'll help refocus my training on the Olympics again and will obviously motivate me for my competitions this summer,” says Hayden.
Beijing Olympian Richard Hortness, will be actively supporting his fellow Olympians and inspiring young ones during the Games.  
“Canadians will get to witness so many great performances, and I think it will be an eye opener as to why it’s important to support athletes and sports,” says Hortness.
Members of the Canadian National Swim Team will be hitting the waters this spring at the Pan Pacific Trials in Montreal which will mark the beginning of the long course swimming season.