June 18th, 2024

World champion Simoneau leads Canada’s artistic swimmers at Paris Olympics


By The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

Members of Canada's 2024 Olympic artistic swim team, Scarlett Finn, Audrey Lamothe, Jonnie Newman, Raphaelle Plante, Kenzie Priddell, Claire Scheffel, Jacqueline Simoneau, Florence Tremblay, Sydney Carroll, pose for photos during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, June 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – World champion Jacqueline Simoneau will lead Canada’s artistic swim team into this summer’s Paris Games as it seeks its first Olympic medal in 24 years.

The 27-year-old from Saint-Laurent, Que., was named to Canada Artistic Swimming’s nine-athlete roster on Monday.

Simoneau will head into her third Olympic Games on a roll. She helped Canada qualify for the Olympic team and duet events in February at the world aquatic championships in Doha, Qatar.

She also won gold in the women’s solo free and silver in the technical in Doha. Solo competitions are not included in the 2024 Olympic program.

Montreal’s Audrey Lamothe, who teamed with Simoneau at the world championships, was also named to the team.

The other members are Toronto’s Scarlett Finn, Calgary’s Jonnie Newman, Raphaelle Plante of Quebec City, Regina’s Kenzie Priddell, Claire Scheffel of Brantford, Ont., and Florence Tremblay of Rimouski, Que. Regina’s Sydney Carroll was named a travelling alternate.

“⁠⁠Competing in Paris, a city with such rich sporting history, will be incredibly inspiring,” Simoneau said in a statement. “As I approach my third Olympic Games, I am filled with gratitude for everyone who has supported me along this journey and for the opportunity to share this experience with an incredible, unified team.”

Simoneau returned to competition in 2023 after a brief retirement following the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

She has formed a successful tandem with Lamothe, who will make her Olympic debut. this summer They won bronze in both the duet technical and duet free programs at the Paris World Cup, and followed that up with two silver medals at a World Cup stop in Markham, Ont.

Canada also won silver in the team free routine in Markham with the highest degree of difficulty in the field.

Also Monday, Swimming Canada announced the artistic swimming team has been granted a bursary of $80,000 to be split among the athletes from the Canadian Olympic Foundation’s “Great to Gold” initiative.

Canada has won eight Olympic medals (three gold, four silver, one bronze) in artistic swimming, with the most recent a bronze in the team event at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Artistic swimming will take place Aug. 5-10 at the Aquatics Centre in Paris.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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