One of the best age group swimmers in Canada is aligning with one of the country’s strongest clubs, as Laon Kim has officially joined the University of Calgary Swim Club (UCSC).
Kim underwent a trial run at UCSC this summer while weighing his options for the 2023-24 season and beyond, and his results spoke for themselves, as he had a dominant showing at the Canadian Championships in August.
Kim won five gold medals individually in the boys’ 14-15 age group, including becoming the fastest 15-year-old Canadian ever in the 100 free (50.39) and 200 free (1:49.62), and he also led off two UCSC relays that set new NAG records.
Kim is set to attend The National Sport School in Calgary, a school specifically created to support student-athletes with Olympic potential. Notable alumni include Canadian Olympians Joel Greenshields (2008) and Jillian Tyler (2008, 2012).
Up until this summer, Kim trained out of the Hyack Swim Club throughout his young career.
Hyack is based out of Coquitlam, British Columbia, and sent 11 swimmers to the Canadian Championships last month, including Paul Orogo winning a pair of medals in the backstroke events in the boys’ 16-18 age group.
In addition to the numerous individual NAG records Kim broke during his time at Hyack, he also contributed to the club breaking all five SCM relay records in the 13-14 age group in the summer of 2021, doing so alongside Orogo.
UCSC sent 43 swimmers to the 2023 Canadian Championships, the most of any club, and they’ve also had recent success in putting athletes on international teams, including qualifying four for both the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and the currently ongoing 2023 World Junior Championships. They also put one swimmer, Lorne Wigginton, on the 2023 World Championship team.