Members of a local swimming club brushed shoulders with an Olympian last week – even joining them in the water at South Surrey Pool.
Two-time Olympian Martha McCabe paid a visit to the Pacific Sea Wolves at the pool on Aug. 31 as part of her 23-day tour across western and central Canada.
McCabe’s appearance brought swimmers together from nearly every Sea Wolves group – from the young Sea Puppies to up-and-coming club leaders.
McCabe, 27, who finished 23rd in the 200-m breaststroke at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, shared stories of her experience as an international-level swimmer, and what it was like to be part of Team Canada at the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Games.
A highlight of the afternoon for the nearly 30 club members at the event was having a world-class swimmer join them in the water.
“It was a great set up that brought swimmers from almost every group of our club together. To have our swimmers get to watch Martha herself get into the water in our home pool was such a great way to kick off our season,” assistant coach Jy Stewart said.
McCabe, a Toronto native, has been a member of the senior national team since 2009. At the Rio games she served as co-captain.
One of her overarching themes is overcoming adversity, according to a Swimming Canada news release, and that making it to the Olympics is anything but easy.
“I want to get across that Olympians are human too, and we all go through rough patches in our careers,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that good things can’t come out of that, and sometimes you can be more successful than you could have ever imagined.”
McCabe finishes her road tour on Sept. 21.
White Rock Olympic swimmer Hilary Caldwell is a former member of the Sea Wolves. Caldwell earned a bronze medal in Rio.