The 2014 Canadian Open Synchronized Swimming Championships

Sorry it’s been a while since my last blog post. Honestly, I have been spending every free moment I have on the computer working on my book so it is ready when Human Kinetics contacts me.

This past weekend I attended the Canadian Open. It was the first time I have ever attended as a spectator. Not only was I a spectator, but I had the pleasure of being a spectator with two swimmers who have never been to a competition of that calibre. They were so excited by team Canada and the international countries that attended. They were equally excited of the club teams too.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to a high level competition near you, you should consider attending. In the worst case scenario watch online. Heads up to anyone who lives near Kamloops, Espoir will be held there from June 4-8, 2014.

The international countries that attended were Australia, Spain, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. Of course Team Canada was there too. For full results check out this link. I am still surprised that after all of these years none of our American friends make it to the competition. Is it the timing of the competition? You have no idea it was an open competition? You had a competition in the States? If you swim in the US let me know why you don’t come to the Open.

Team Australia is a new squad with only one returning Olympian. The team is made up of swimmers from five different states and they get together about every 6-8 weeks to train as a team. They are working hard towards their Olympic Qualifying event that will happen in 2015 where they go head to head with New Zealand. Historically, Australia wins that battle and should be the representative at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio for Oceania. Next up for the team is possibly the Singapore Open then the FINA World Cup in Quebec City this October. If you want a little more information on the team Australia go to their website.


Team Australia

The duet from Brazil was a club duet. Although, Nayara Figueira, has been a longtime National duet swimmer. This a new duet partner for her this season. These ladies were very professional taking the time to write out a message in english for their new fans.



I do not know much about the other international duets.  All I can say is that they were pretty good and I enjoyed watching their routines. That is one of the wonderful things about other countries attending the open, you get to see a different style of swimming. The Kazakhstan duet is a new duet for their country. They also competed at the German Open earlier this year.



The Spanish duet is new and they are national team members. Paula Klamburg Roque will be paring up with On a Carbonell to form Spain’s Top duet.



Last, but by no means least was Team Canada. This was the first time this season that the team was able to show off their routines in competition to their home crowd. They had a busy March with the German and French Open. Head Coach, Meng Chen said “the competition was positive” and “was great competition experience for the young team.” Beyond that she noted “the international feedback was valuable” and that the visibility of team Canada on the international stage is important.

Anytime team Canada was at the pool, you could sense the excitement by swimmers, coaches and spectators. Everyone stops and watches even their training. Which if you have the chance to watch them train is a great example of intensity in the pool. From the moment they hit the pool right to the end, they are sharp, they are high, and they are in full performance mode. They bring their best at all times.

Team Canada Free Team Swimmers

Team Canada Free Team Swimmers

Team Canada was wonderful, posing for endless photos and signing autographs. Those girls have inspired so many up and coming swimmers.  Thanks Team Canada and Synchro Canada for bringing that opportunity to everyone.

In the next few weeks I will be sharing more stories from the Canadian Open.  I was able to interview some really interesting people this weekend and I look forward to sharing what I learned.

Overall, I thought there were some great swims. I really enjoyed watching the battles from prelims to finals. Excellent job coaches, swimmers, parents, and judges. It really takes a team to be great. Remember to take time to celebrate the big and the small victories.

If you have stories, lessons learned or anything else to share from nationals I would love to hear from you on Facebook. My American friends don’t forget to tell me why you don’t come to the competition. Anytime I have been to the US Open I have had a blast. I’m sure you’d have fun up here.

Yours in Synchro,

Vanessa Keenan


  1. Katie on May 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    I think two of the Australians are also Canadians with dual citizenship 🙂

    • Vanessa Keenan on May 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      I did not know that. I’ll email one of the coaches to confirm. Thanks for the info.

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