Athlete of the Month
If swimming is your passion, we want to know about it!
At All Tides, we all swim on the same team. Which is why we want to promote swimmers from one end of the spectrum to the other, and celebrate the whole aquatic community. Any fervent swimmer is a potential All Tides Athlete of the Month. The fact is, the aquatic community extends from beginners to Olympians, including, of course, countless lifeguards and coaches. If you fit somewhere in that range (and you do!), you can enter to become our Athlete of the Month. So jump in—we're headed for adventure! !
February 2020 - Mary-Sophie Harvey
I’m proud of what I have accomplished over the course of my fifteen-year career, having been the youngest-ever female swimmer at the Olympic Trials in 2012 and the first person to surpass the 100 record mark in Quebec; holding a Canadian record in every age category, being on Team Canada since the age of twelve, winning more than a dozen medals internationally, being part of the ISL—the first professional swimming league in the history of the sport. But the thing I am most proud of is the effort I put in daily to obtain these results. This sport has taught me to work for what I want, to be resilient, and to persevere in spite of life’s hurdles.
January 2020 - Shelby Newkirk
Shelby Newkirk is a Canadian para-swimmer and three-time national team member. Involved in athletics throughout her early years, her life changed at thirteen when she was diagnosed with a neurological movement disorder called dystopia. Suddenly unable to do the sports she had grown up doing, she looked for options—sports she could still participate in. She found the Para Storm Swim Club in Winnipeg and instantly fell in love with the sport. Shelby has been swimming for seven years now, and her competitive nature and passion for the sport have pushed her to the highest level of competition.
Shelby currently holds twelve Canadian records, two Americas records, and one World record. Additionally, she was named Canada’s female Para Swimmer of the Year two years in a row, and has received her nomination to the Canadian Paralympic team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics this summer. Shelby recently returned from the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships where she won a silver medal in the 100 m backstroke [event].
In addition to Shelby’s swimming, she is a full-time student at the University of Saskatchewan studying education with the hope of [being able] to provide a more inclusive school experience for students with disabilities—especially in regard to sporting opportunities. Shelby also runs her own business, Crafty Prairie Girl, coaches in Saskatoon, and enjoys speaking at schools and events throughout the country—sharing her story, her love of sport, and her journey to the Paralympics.
December 2019 - Kathryn Ivanov
My name is Kathryn Ivanov and I am sixteen years old. I have been on the Middlesex Swimming team for three years.
Unlike many people, I only started swimming recently. Of course, I took swimming lessons when I was younger, but [the idea of] joining a swim team wasn’t ever brought up. Before I joined Middlesex, around 2012 or 2013 I joined a track team with my sister. Almost instantly I knew running wasn’t for me, but I stayed on the team for two or three years.
I was never an outstanding runner. My sister thrived in the sport, but I fell back and felt as if I wasn't achieving anything. Usually I would place near the bottom in any meet. I clearly remember that at my final track meet, I came last by almost three seconds.
During my time on the track team, my parents decided to sign my sister and I up to complete the final levels of swimming and bronze star. There, someone told me something that changed my life. One of my instructors said that I was a great swimmer, and that I should join a competitive swim team. Before that, I had never thought about it. It never [occurred] to me, that I could be doing something other than running.
I begged my parents to let me leave my track team to join a swimming team. I began training with my dad in our outdoor pool, and soon enough we wrote an email to Middlesex [to which] they quickly responded. I remember that I loved my very first practice. There was something about swimming that was different. I wanted to go to practices, I wanted to try, and I had dreams.
Half a year later, I competed in my first meet and got 7th for the 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:30. Back then, 7th place was a humongous achievement. Only months into joining a team, and I was already getting top places.
At my second meet, which was much bigger than the first, I won two silver [medals], for the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke. My time for the 100 had improved so much within a couple of months! I was winning medals—something I could have only dreamed of.
Quickly my times improved, and I began to [compete at] larger meets. After a year or so of training, I won at a meet that was considered huge, the Ontario Festival Championships (Provincials), with a time of 1:16 for the 100 metre breaststroke.
From there, I began to qualify for larger meets: Provincials, Easterns, Junior Internationals, and even Canadian Trials.
Now at sixteen, I have qualified for the biggest and most [recognized] meet in Canada—the Olympic Trials. In a span of only three years, I have gone from the bottom to the top.
Being on a track team made me experience what it was like to lose. Thankfully, that didn't [affect] me. Now, I will continue training, competing, and dreaming. I will continue to try during practice and never give up. I'm hoping that I will continue to thrive [moving] forward, and that one day I will achieve my goal of competing in the Olympics.
November 2019 - Laurier Lafontaine-Giguère
I started competitive swimming when I was four years old, but it wasn’t until I was about nine, when I started winning regional meets, that I really started thinking about my performance. Later on, in the 11-12 age category I was able to make my mark at provincial championships in Quebec—my best being at the 2018 Summer Provincial Championships for the 11-12 age category in Gatineau, where I won nine individual gold medals.
When I was thirteen, my season got off to a rocky start because I broke my collarbone during a mountain bike practice. I also had tendinitis four times in four different spots, but I recovered and managed to make the qualifying times for the Eastern Canadian Championships and the Canadian Junior Championships. I finished that year, at thirteen years old, 2nd in Canada for my best swim, the 50 m free. I also won several medals at the AAA Quebec Championships.
I think what sets me apart is my perseverance, my will to succeed, and my desire to go as far as I can. Competition fuels my passion.
October 2019 - Carter Buck
My name is Carter, I am sixteen years old, and I swim for the London Aquatic Club. I swim most events but I love and excel at the backstroke and both individual medley events.
I first started swimming when I was nine years old, and I have loved it from that moment on. When I was twelve, I had to make a decision to continue with either competitive swimming or playing competitive hockey, and I chose swimming.
There are many reasons why I love swimming. I love to compete, and I love pushing myself to the limit every time I train and race. I am motivated to keep swimming because I enjoy the feeling I get from a hard practice and a great race. I am also motivated by the challenge of swimming against top-level competitors.
It is a great honour to be acknowledged as Athlete of the Month by All Tides.
I hope everyone has a great swim season!
September 2019 - Jackie Frith
My name is Jackie Frith, known socially as @swimqueenyxe. I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I am a wife, and mom to three children; my youngest is just one year old.
Water is the place where I feel most authentically myself—a queen. Water constantly strengthens my mental, physical, and spiritual health. When I swim, I feel powerful, confident, happy, strong, and connected to my core being. It took me until I was thirty years old to figure this out, and to truly embrace swimming as a Masters swimmer with the Saskatoon Goldfins.
My passion is sharing my swim journey through motherhood on Instagram, all the while wearing my swimsuit. I am authentic and inspire women of all shapes and sizes to just jump in the water, with no fear or anxiety. I want women to make memories in the pool with their children, and I want women to find the joy of swimming for themselves. I do this by setting the example as a Master swimmer and as a mom that jumps in and gets her hair wet!
August 2019 - Jeremy Koueiki
Hello, my name is Jeremy Koueiki. I am a 16 year old swimmer. It is my first season swimming with CASE natation but it is my 4th year swimming competitively. I started swimming when I was 12 years old, my brother was a swimmer as well and encouraged me to join the sport. My favourite swim is the 200 IM because as much as it’s hard, it’s short and sweet and brings the best out of every swimmer. However, my best stroke is 200m breast.
What I love most about the sport is the discipline it brings to you which is a great quality to live by when you grow up. What motivates me through swimming is coming to the pool to be with my friends and going to exciting swim meets. I think having a good sport environment is essential in any sport and I am grateful with the one I have. I’m a very good leader, I love to cheer on my peers whether it’s in practice or competition as everyone needs that extra push.
In conclusion, swimming is my passion and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for me!
June 2019 - Miori Hénault
My name is Miori Hénault. I’m twenty-four years old, and I am an S14 para-swimmer. I have a moderate intellectual impairment. I started swimming when I was nine years old, and when I joined a club, I loved learning all the swimming styles. I’ve been training with the CASE club since I was twelve, and I’m always happy to go to swim practice and to see my friends.
My favourite style is definitely long-distance freestyle because I don’t have to think until the bell rings! Incidentally, I currently hold three S14 Canadian records, for the 400, 800, and 1500 m free, and a S14 world record for the 1500 m free. My coach, Michel Tremblay, also gave me a taste of open-water swimming in the cold water of Lac St-Jean! I’ll be going back there soon for a 10 km race! What’s more, I love travelling across Canada and the United States with my coach to participate in national and international meets.
To sum it up, I could say that swimming is my life. I’m always smiling because swimming makes me very happy!
May 2019 - Sharon Donnelly
Like many young kids, I had dreams of representing Canada at the Olympic Games, but I thought it would be in the sport of swimming. Instead it was triathlon, a new sport, that I fell in love with while I was a student at Royal Military College. The training and discipline instilled as a competitive swimmer were the keys to my 9-year career on the National Triathlon Team, and competing in Sydney 2000. After retiring from full-time racing in 2004 and starting a family, I went on to coach triathlon and masters swimming (including Beijing 2008 as the triathlon coach for Team USA).
As an athlete and coach, I was constantly searching for something that my athletes and I could use to keep us visible and safe in the lakes and rivers. With nothing on the market, I co-invented the MyFloat—a highly visible inflatable dry bag to store valuables and swim unencumbered. It has given me so much joy to hear stories of swimmers who have overcome their fears of open water by using the MyFloat.
In 2015, I partnered with the Canadian distributor Nordesco Inc. to help bring the MyFloat to more markets and help even more swimmers….allowing me more time to swim and coach!
April 2019 - Camille Milot
My name is Camille Milot, and I started swimming when I was about eight years old. I’m thirteen now, and I train with the CAFA swim club, Les Fouiqs d’Anjou (yes, it really is the Fouiqs!) under the supervision of my coach, Oksana Bogush. Every practice, she helps me push my limits, and she supports and corrects me at swim meets. The practices are hard, but I’ve understood that if you want to improve, you’re going to have to suffer and really give it your all. And I love seeing the result of all my hard work at swim meets!
I often set short- and medium-term goals for myself. For example, this year I would like to qualify for the national standards. My personal goals help me stay focused on my progression and keep me from comparing myself too much to other swimmers. That said, I love the atmosphere of major swim meets, both in and outside of Montreal; they make me perform better. I’m always trying to improve, and I still love swimming. I think that means I’ve found my passion!
March 2019 - Cédric Fofana
Hello, my name is Cedric Fofana. I am fifteen years old, and I have been diving since I was six, but it all really started when I was three. Once, I went swimming at the Olympic Stadium, and I told my parents that when I got big, I was going to jump on the green boards.
I trained in Quebec City with the ARO diving club of Quebec from the ages of six to thirteen. I have dived recreationally, with the high school swim team, in a sport-study program, and competitively. In 2017, I moved to Montreal to train at the INS (national sport institute) with the Canadian team.
Until recently, I was diving from the 1 m and 3 m springboards, and the platform. Now, I dive from the 1 m and 3 m, in both Junior and Senior categories. I love diving because I love the water. I love the feeling of twisting through the air. It gives me a feeling of complete freedom—even while executing controlled movements—which sometimes creates spectacular dives. My favourite dive is the 307C (Reverse 3 1⁄2 Somersaults Tuck).
February 2019 - Stephanie Horner
First and foremost, thank you to All Tides for honouring me as their swimmer of the month! I have been swimming competitively for over twenty years now—time flies!
I have been representing Canada on the international stage since 2008, where I made my first of three Canadian Olympic Teams (2008-2012-2016). I raced in the pool for many years, and it is only later in my career that I started focusing on open water. I chose to make that transition because I wanted a new challenge whilst still treasuring my love for water. Unlike racing in the pool, open water is all about strategy and learning how to adapt to different situations. That’s what makes it exciting!
My most recent accomplishments include being the first Canadian female to ever win an Open Water World Cup event, as well as being the first Canadian to have ever participated in the Olympic Games for both pool and open water events.
I am currently still training and racing. I can’t believe the 2020 Olympic Games are right around the corner!
Wishing everyone all the best in their endeavors!
January 2019 - Annabelle Caron
My name is Annabelle Caron, and I am eleven years old. I have been swimming with the CAMO swim club for the last two and a half years. I am definitely a girl who likes sports. I started doing all kinds of sports when I was quite young, including artistic gymnastics, diving, and judo. I’ve always been following and running after my two older brothers. It’s not surprising, then, that I wanted to follow my second oldest brother’s steps in playing handball, and my oldest brother’s in swimming. I wanted to win medals and travel like he does. So I joined CAMO.I can tell you that swim practices are a lot more demanding than handball practices! It’s really my gang of friends, and the imaginative coaches, plus the fact that I get to spend time with Olympic swimmers, like Katerine Savard, that have convinced me to persevere in this sport. I’m still a beginner swimmer, but I compete in swim meets outside of my region, and I’m learning to set goals for myself and to push myself every practice so I can meet these goals. This year, I’ve even been enjoying getting up every morning for swim practice before school, and going to training camps during school holidays. Soon, I’ll participate in the finals, and I too, will win medals!
December 2018 - Noah Wasyliw
My name is Noah Wasyliw, and I have been swimming for the past fifteen years. Swimming has been my life from the age of seven, and it’s the friendships I have made that makes swimming so meaningful. I’m the type of swimmer who is always laughing on the pool deck; I’m pushing myself in sets, and helping my team achieve success. I recently moved to Regina to swim for the varsity program, and I am currently studying in the faculty of Education.
I have goals to compete in this year’s Fisu World University Games in Naples, Italy this summer, and I hope to be joined by some of my teammates as well. My main motivation for swimming comes from my teammates and other competitors. Both push me to become the best athlete I can be, and help me to reach my goals.
November 2018 - Alisson Gobeil
Alisson is a young woman who is battling with a degenerative disorder called autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay. She has been pushing the boundaries defined for her by medicine from a very young age. Alisson has been swimming ever since she was just a little girl. At first, she struggled with the cold water of the pool—muscle atrophy hindered her from retaining body heat, so she would spend as much time in the hot shower as in the pool. It took several years for her to get to the point of being able to swim unassisted.
Since then, Alisson has qualified as a para-swimmer with the Alma JUVAQUA swim team. She participates in meets and has become the first female para-swimmer with Ataxia in the province of Quebec to pursue the sport school program in swimming. Alisson shone at the 2018 Quebec Games in Thetford Mines, where she set four new provincial records in Category S6 para-swimming and earned three medals for her region. What Alisson would like more than anything else is to swim on the provincial—and even national—circuit, if her results allow her to qualify.
October 2018 - Mélanie Fabes
I’m a competitive Masters swimmer, and I swim for the North Toronto Masters. I swam competitively from the ages of seven to seventeen for DDO, then for Pointe Claire. After a ten-year hiatus, I came back and rediscovered my love of the sport. I love competing provincially, nationally, and globally.I swim for fun, fitness, and friendship. Masters Swimming is fun. It’s inclusive. It’s as competitive as I want it to be. I feel very strongly about including all levels of swimmers in Masters swimming, and I enjoy being able to help others. Because of my involvement in swimming from a young age, and having swum Masters in both Montreal and Toronto, I have a large network of swimming friends and feel that I’m integrated in the Masters swimming community.
September 2018 - Andréa Séguin
I discovered my sport at the age of twelve, in 1982. My parents had signed me up in a little swim club, and three years later, when the club shut down, I went to CAMO. That’s really where it all started for me. Very quickly, I moved up to the Senior level, and I was able to be a finalist at the Canadian Championships. As well, I’ve made several trips, and competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympic trials, all enriching experiences that shaped my teenage years.I swim currently with the Masters at CAMO, as captain of the team, and, just as in my “younger years,” my specialty is still sprinting, particularly the 50 m and 100 m free (number one in Canada in my age group for the last eight years, and among the top 10 in the world), and the 50 m butterfly. As a masters swimmer, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the World Championships both in Montreal and in Budapest, the Pan Am Games in Florida, as well as travelling all over Canada. Also, it’s been a huge privilege for me to be sponsored by Aquasphere Canada as the ambassador for the MP line, something that I am immensely proud of. I can truly say that the water is my element, and swimming will always be an integral part of my life.
I’ve always been comfortable around water. In fact, my first swim meets, around the age of seven, confirmed what I thought—I loved the water! Without making any waves (ha ha!), already in my early years with the swimming club in Sherbrooke, I started specializing in long distances: 400 m, 1500 m, 2 km, and 5 km in the pool—it was never enough for me. That’s when my coach introduced me to open water Now, I could swim forever! (Almost...) At that point, I started dreaming of winning the famous lake crossings of Lake Memphrémagog and Lac Saint Jean, thirty-two- and thirty-four-kilometre distances!By training very hard, and having fun in the water, I eventually succeeded in becoming the first 20-year-old Canadian to win the legendary Lac Saint Jean crossing. I managed to do the same thing again the following year! After more than ten years in the international World Cup circuit, in the 10 km as well as longer distances, I will be bowing out at the end of 2018, with a feeling of accomplishment. You can expect to see me hanging around a pool or a lake, in the future, for sure!
July 2018 - Nicolas Masse-Savard
I started swimming when I was eight years old. At that time, my one and only goal was to beat my big sister. I had to wait until I was twelve, however, before that finally happened in a 2 km open water race. So, although I got off to a rather slow start in my swimming career, my perseverance has enabled me to make stable and constant progress, and at the age of twenty-three, it still hasn’t stopped! Sometime around 2011, I started to seriously specialize in open water racing, i.e., long distances in lakes, oceans, rivers, etc.This sport, which is very distinct from swimming in a pool, is interesting because the swimmer has to deal with multiple factors that complicate the race. Open water swimming has also given me the opportunity to swim in some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world, something that almost no other sport can boast of!
JUNE 2018 - Katerine Savard
I started swimming when I was about 10 years old, because my mother was afraid of the water, and she wanted to make sure I knew how to swim. Several years went by before I developed any kind of talent; however, as soon as I started to improve, I really took off. Around sixteen, I joined my first team—the senior national team. So in reality, I skipped several levels. I was never part of a development or junior team, even if my age corresponded to that level.
I’ve been representing Canada on the international stage for the last nine years. During this time, I’ve participated in two Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in Rio, as well as one gold and one silver medal at the World Championships in 2016. I’ve also won several other medals, including gold at the Commonwealth Games, the Pan American Games and the World University Games.
MAY 2018 - Claude Latulippe
Water sports have been a part of my life from a very early age. I started swimming competitively when I was eleven years old.
Swimming is my passion. I literally fell in love with the atmosphere around pools during competitions, as well as with the good feeling that comes after training. My specialty is the sprint in short-distance crawl, but I do backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly during practice. My passion transformed into a career at Aquam, where I currently hold the position of Sales Director. I promised myself that I would pass along my deep affection for swimming to my children, so that they too, might learn to love this incredible sport.