2016 Olympic Relay Medalist Sandrine Mainville Retires

26-year old freestyler Sandrine Mainville has retired from competitive swimming just two weeks shy of the Canadian Pan Pacs Trials, which will be held from July 18th-22nd. The decision coincides with her last month as a law student at Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal.

Mainville was a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 2016 that won bronze in the 400 free relay; she added bronze medals in mixed 400 free relays at both the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, in addition to a handful of other international relay medals.

Mainville is the second of the Canadian finals relay in Rio to retire this year, after Chantal van Landeghem. That leaves the country to build around Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck.

“I learned to turn negatives into positives, which helped me become the athlete I became. As I often say, everything happens for a reason,” Mainville says. “I always made decisions based on what was best for me.

“My state of mind has changed in the last couple of months; my head is elsewhere with the desire to start my professional career on the right foot. My motivation and my focus are now directed towards this new goal. I gave myself the last year to gradually say goodbye to swimming. I did not want to force anything. I’m glad the transition has been so easy; I’m moving on with no regrets.”

A Montreal native, Mainville moved in 2015 to join the HPC group in Toronto under coach Ben Titley.

“The decision to move was far from easy. I’d spent all my life in Montreal. I wasn’t fluent in English. I was in the middle of my degree at the University of Montreal. All of my family and friends were in Montreal. For five years I trained alongside Victoria Poon, my friend and mentor, and the Canadian record holder at the time. I tried to be as objective as possible, and in the end, decided I needed to do something different if I was ever going to step out of Vic’s shadow. It was important for me to know that when it would all be over, that I’d done everything in my power to achieve my goals. Let’s just say I got my wish.”

Mainville’s career-best times in LCM:

  • 50 free – 24.67
  • 100 free – 53.77
  • 100 fly – 1:00.48
  • 100 free (relay split) – 53.36

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2 years ago

Great representative for Canadian swimming and really was one that stuck with it and saw results at a later part of her career. All the best Sandrine

another swammer
2 years ago

“That leaves the country to build around Sandrine Mainville and Taylor Ruck.”
But isn’t this article about Mainville retiring? Do you mean Penny Oleksiak?

Reply to  another swammer
2 years ago

read it again!…

2 years ago

The Canadians beat the Netherlands in that 4 x 100 free relay at the 2016 Olympics. All 4 swimmers swam great relay legs on the way to the bronze medal.

Watch Sandrine swim the leadoff leg:


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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