Canadian Swimmer Philippe Guertin Retires After Losing Funding

Canadian open water swimmer Philippe Guertin has opted to retire after being denied funding by Swimming Canada.

Guertin, 26, will instead begin an internship at a “prestigious firm,” and cites a troubled relationship with Swimming Canada and its new open water Head Coach Mark Perry as fueling his decision to retire.

“This past year has shown me how Swimming Canada is indifferent to swimming in open water,” he told Le Courrier de Sud (translated from French). “The first few weeks after my patent loss email on September 14th were very difficult. I could have asked for a review of my record, as [Richard] Weinberger did, but after six years of representing the country, fighting to return under the supervision of a coach who did not help open water swimmers did not make sense. My internship in a company where I dreamed to be will be more inspiring.”

Specifically, Guertin opposes Swimming Canada‘s 2018 Pan Pacific Championships selection process for the 10K — he said that of the two Canadians who will swim the race, the first to make the team will be the top 1,500m pool swimmer.

“The current top Canadian swimmer in the 1,500 meters is Eric Hedlin, but I was beating him at all the 10K races, so Perry’s theory is not proven,” he said. “If I were still active, I would be very angry. I can not believe we accept that.”

He also called out Perry’s action at the 2017 FINA World Championships: “After the 10 km of the Worlds, he gave us no feedback, no observation. His vision of open water seems to be limited to the Olympic 10 km.” He added, “Worse, he left before the big event, the 32 km, where several athletes from Quebec and Canada were in action. … Is he the head coach of open water or 10 km?”

Guertin’s retirement comes on the tail of fellow Canadian 10K swimmer Breanne Siwicki‘s November retirement. Siwicki cited “promises broken by Swimming Canada” in her decision.

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30 Comments on "Canadian Swimmer Philippe Guertin Retires After Losing Funding"

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Iswiminliquorinsteadofh2o

Swim Canada always getting roasted, love it!!!!

Open water fan

I wish you all the best for a fulfilling and inspiring retirement Philippe. You definitely deserved to be treated better by Swim Canada as did many others. I don’t see open water swimming in Canada becoming competitive any time soon. What is the point in even having an open water coach when there is almost zero support for the athletes and extremely limited training opportunities.

Human Ambition

I would like a suggestion for an alternative selection procedure.

Perhaps a race of the relevant event where the winner is selected??

Gee, I don’t know, maybe an actual 10km trials race (and the same for other competed distances), where the top 2 finishers represent their country at the major competition. I know, I know, this is a very novel idea, but sometimes you’ve gotta think outside the box, eh?

The similarities/crossover between a pool 1500 mtr Free and an open water 10km are…….practically NIL.

There are a few examples of good open water swimmers going on to do well at the 10k. There’s Mellouli, who has won Olympic golds in both the 1500 (2008) and 10k (2012). There’s Jordan Willamovsky in the US. Paltrinieri won the world university games open water event. So not exactly NIL. the crossover between 100 breastroke and open water 10k, that’s NIL.

Three examples, two of which are among the greatest distance swimmers ever, does not help a lot in proving that point

point? I was merely responding to Brad Flood’s assertion that there was almost NIL crossover between the 1500 and the 10k. I’m not defending SNC’s decision to use the 1500 as a qualifier for an open water race. That one is odd, to say the least. But all open water swimmers have started out as fairly good distance swimmers in the pool. Maybe SNC is trying to generate more interest in open water swimming in Canada.

I was just responding to Brad Flood’s assertion that there was almost NIL crossover between the 1500 and the 10k. I’m not defending SNC’s decision to use the 1500 as a qualifier for an open water race. That one is odd, to say the least. But all open water swimmers have started out as fairly good distance swimmers in the pool. Maybe SNC is trying to generate more interest in open water swimming in Canada.

The point being that there isn’t a ton of evidence that supports a strong correlation between being a good 1500m swimmer and being a good open water swimmer, while there isn’t an absence of crossover, using outliers (ie. two of the greatest distance swimmers ever, one of which doesn’t compete in open water regularly since becoming the best 1500m swimmer on the planet) is not a good way of proving that there is indeed a crossover.

Open water fan

Top 2 in an open water race?🤔

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in Media Studies and American Studies at Claremont McKenna College. When she's not writing about swimming or baseball, you can probably find her listening to a podcast or in a pool ... and/or watching Seinfeld, which she just realized is funny.

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