July 20th, 2024

Double gold for Nicol at Pan Am Games

By Lethbridge Herald on October 27, 2023.

Canada's Rachel Nicol swims to win the gold medal in the women's 100-meters breaststroke final at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

In what very well maybe her last Pan Am Games, local  competitive swimmer Rachel Nichol had one to remember with Team Canada over this past week.

Nicol won two gold medals in Chile in the women’s 4x100m medley relay team and in the 100-metre breaststroke.

“It was great, “said Nicol.

“I didn’t really allow myself to think too much going into this meet about expectations and where I might place and times I might go. I went in more thinking about soaking in the experience and like I’m  further along in my career and so I probably won’t have very many, if any more kind of chances like that to experience those kinds of game settings.”

She felt surprised when she finished her races.

“I didn’t really give too much thought about placing, because it depends a lot of the time who comes to the meet, and how people are swimming and it was in October, which is a bit of an awkward time of the year to race really at your best,” said Nicol.å

“ It was a bit of a shot in the dark  of where you might end up  and compared to what other people might do. So, yeah, I would say I was surprised by the results as a product and not really thinking about it and just not really sure how other people would be racing.”

Nicol was a part of the gold-medal winning medley relay team that included Maggie Mac Neil, who with her five gold medals was the only Canadian to win that many in a single Pan Am Games.

“Maggie has broken many records and  done many historical things over the years being on the national team,” she said.

“So I’ve been there and seen quite a few of those. And so , it’s become almost kind of normal and expected from her to do those things even though it’s still a big ask and it takes a lot of effort on her part .”

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