Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey Coming Into Her Own At The Right Time


We may be having a truncated Olympic cycle, with the runway from Tokyo to Paris one year shorter than the usual quad, but it likely doesn’t feel that way for Mary-Sophie Harvey.

The versatile Canadian has been through a whirlwind over the past two years, from being drugged at an after-party at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest to taking on a mind-numbing competition schedule through 2023 and into 2024 with Paris on her mind.

Harvey was a medley specialist during her junior career, breaking the Canadian Record in the women’s 400 IM (SCM) at the age of 17 in 2016, and has shown she can be competitive with the sport’s elite in butterfly—winning Pan Am silver in 2019 in the 200 fly—and backstroke—putting up big points for Energy Standard in the ISL in the 50 and 100 back—over the years.

But recently, she’s evolved her freestyle game into one of the country’s best. Harvey represented Canada at the Tokyo Olympics, swimming a prelim leg on the women’s 800 free relay, but has kicked things into high gear over the last seven months.

She won gold at the 2023 Pan Ams in the 200 free in a time of 1:58.08, winning a total of six medals in Santiago including two more golds on relays, and hasn’t slowed down since.

The 24-year-old set a best time of 1:57.70 in the 200 free in November, matched it one week later at the U.S. Open, and then clocked 1:57.26 at the Quebec Cup in February.

She reset her best time yet again during the Giant Series in France in late March, clocking 1:57.06.

At the Giant Series, Harvey raced 17 times in six days, setting an additional best time in the 100 free (54.26) and narrowly missing her seven-year-old PB in the 400 IM (4:36.48 from 2017) in 4:36.79.

The Laval, Quebec native, who trains and competes with Club Aquatique Montreal (CAMO), has carried her early 2024 momentum into this week’s Canadian Swimming Open in Toronto.

On Wednesday, she lowered her best time in the 200 free yet again, negative-splitting her way to a time of 1:56.76, ranking her #4 all-time in Canada behind Summer McIntosh (1:53.65), Taylor Ruck (1:54.44) and Penny Oleksiak (1:54.70).

It also broke a super-suited Quebec Provincial Record, lowering the 1:56.97 mark established by Geneviève Saumur in 2009.


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This season, Harvey ranks 2nd in Canada behind McIntosh (1:54.21), putting her in a very strong position for a relay berth at the Paris Olympics, possibly even an individual spot.

Harvey nearly took out her PB in the 100 free final last night, touching .01 off in 54.27 to finish 3rd, and was impressive this morning in the 100 fly, advancing 3rd in 58.68 behind McIntosh (58.14) and defending Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil (58.34).

Harvey set her best time of 58.12 in the 100 fly in February.

She’ll race the 200 IM on Saturday, another event she could make a run at Olympic qualification in.

To those who have been following the sport intently for the better part of the last decade, it feels as though Harvey has been through it all. But she’s still just 24, and based on recent results, the best may be yet to come.

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"we've got a boil-over!"
1 month ago

Bravo to her resilience and tenacity over the past few years. So versatile, many options for her to challenge Olympic qualifying, and be a huge cog in the relay wheels. I wonder if her best shot would even be 200 fly based on her 100 free/fly speed combined with 400im endurance??

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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