Canadian Swimmers Notified That Trials Invitation Process “Temporarily Paused”

Swimming Canada’s invitation process for the 2021 Olympic Trials has been temporarily put on pause, a source told SwimSwam on Wednesday.

Following the initial set of invites sent out on Jan. 6, the organization has delayed the process for the time being, for unknown reasons, though athletes tell SwimSwam they believe the ongoing pandemic has led Swimming Canada to re-evaluate its plan.

Swimming Canada has told SwimSwam that further details will likely be announced on Friday.

On Dec. 7, the organization announced a radical change to its Trials format, including the implementation of timed finals and an invite-only field of 20 swimmers per event.

The initial invite list saw the top 20 swimmers in each Olympic event invited, but athletes hadn’t yet had the opportunity to drop any events if they wanted to.

The 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials are scheduled for April 7-11 in Toronto, where extremely strict coronavirus restrictions are currently in place, including a provincewide lockdown beginning on Dec. 26 that runs through until at least Jan. 23.

Because of these restrictions, Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson and CEO Ahmed El-Awadi have reiterated that they reserve the right to cancel or modify the Trials at any time if deemed unsafe. A call has been scheduled for this Friday, where they are expected to provide the country’s top athletes and coaches with an update on planning.

Earlier this month, the country’s High-Performance Centre – Ontario, based out of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center, which is scheduled to host the Trials, shut down for a few days after an athlete in the training group tested positive for COVID-19.

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Doconc
1 month ago

There is no unsafe swimming, only foolish officials

Didgeridont
Reply to  Doconc
1 month ago

This is not about the act of competition or swimming itself. It is about the travel, hotels, etc. associated with such events.

I forgot though. Doconc is the omniscient one and is right about everything even though most experts tend to disagree. Soon all of these conspiracy theories and virus deniers will be proven correct and we will all bow down to your almighty knowledge.

Doconc
Reply to  Didgeridont
1 month ago

How did ISL and Pro Series make this work?

Did you read the swim swam article on virus stability in water/chlorine?

That’s ok, keep wearing ur mask!!

Didgeridont
Reply to  Doconc
1 month ago

Reading comprehension is difficult, I know. By saying “This is not about the act of competition or swimming itself. It is about the travel, hotels, etc. associated with such events,” I am telling you that I agree that the acts of swimming and competing are relatively safe, but the travel, hotels, and gathering of a large group of people for these types of events are not. So, yes, I have read the SwimSwam article on virus stability in the water/chlorine and agree with the findings. The ISL created a bubble and had strict protocol. This was also mentioned in a SwimSwam article. The Pro Swim Series had multiple sites to help limit the number of athletes, coaches, officials in the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Didgeridont
Golgotha
1 month ago

If I was to bet on this one I would say that the Trials will postponed.

Canadian Swimmer
Reply to  Golgotha
1 month ago

Hoping so, not a ton of ability to swim in some provinces right now.

Pullswimkick
Reply to  Golgotha
1 month ago

Could be postponed…. but my guess is a hand picked small team of contenders. Is it really the Olympics to send swimmers just for the experience into a pandemic situation?

Taa
Reply to  Pullswimkick
1 month ago

This is probably what a lot lesser swim nations will end up doing. Get an A cut and you get to go. I don’t know how many swimmers Canada has in each event with an A cut but its not that many. They could probably pick 80% of the team right now and have a meet right before they have to submit the team list for Tokyo and they can round out the roster there. Again its not ideal but maybe inevitable

Admin
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

I think the reality is that, as much as we all want to dream about this scenario where someone comes from out of nowhere to make the team, Canada can probably narrow down the field of realistic Olympic qualifiers for 2021 to maybe…50 swimmers? Maybe 60?

We all know that Trials in countries like the US and Canada are about more than that, they’re about ‘the next generation’ and building the industry in swim, but if you boil them down to the singular purpose of choosing a team, they could almost certainly be done with one heat per event.

Now, I’m pretty ‘play it safe’ on coronavirus stuff in general, but, if by June, where a big chunk of your… Read more »

Pullswimkick
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Totally agree and by June could likely run an event with prelims & finals vs the current format of time finals which was opposed to by many athletes/coaches. Regardless, trials is for sure not happening in April as some top swimmers like MacNeil are still in US and no way sitting out 14 days between now a original start date of April 7th. Still feel SNC will hand pick a small team now (btw believe only 2 men have individual Fina A times – Thormeyer & Knox) and then maybe top up in future trials/competition in June. This avoids top swimmers named to team now having to to taper for a June trials which SNC seems not to be a… Read more »

Taa
1 month ago

Push it back to early July? Its not ideal but its the most fair thing to get the athletes the chance to train for the big meet.

Bo Swims
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Move it outdoors to Montreal?

Admin
Reply to  Bo Swims
1 month ago

I’m thinking they’re going to move to June, and then go full-on discretionary if June doesn’t work out. If I were a Canadian, I’d try to find a taper meet in the next 2 weeks, make sure I get my best time in if April doesn’t happen, and then work my way toward June.

June is more viable to do outdoors in Montreal than April. If they cut the field small enough, it’s also possible that they could hold the Trials at an outdoor venue somewhere besides Canada (like they were going to do with their open water trials).

Prettykitten
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

There are no upcoming meets that I’m aware of in Canada and lots of the top athletes can’t even train properly or at all. I think B.C is the only province where training is more “normal”. No one in Alberta has been able to swim properly since November, Manitoba is even worse. Sask is lane swim only, Ontario is only high performance athletes, Quebec is like Ontario but i think Montreal just shut down there pools. So no one in Canada is really in a position to taper. So best case is a June trials. I already suggested a trial period followed by a meet but another option that might work would be 2 small Trials meets one in Vancouver… Read more »

Splash
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

NS can swim!

Pullswimkick
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

If you are on Swim Ontario’s lockdown HP exemption list (essentially have an Olympic trials qualification) you can swim, so many club swimmers have also been training.

whateverman
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

Been saying it since early December too

Prettykitten
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

If I was them I’d probably resort to a qualification period with a trials meet at the end.

JustAnotherSwimmer
Reply to  Prettykitten
1 month ago

they wouldnt do it because that makes too much sense.

whateverman
Reply to  JustAnotherSwimmer
1 month ago

exactly! the ‘clic’ wouldnt like that

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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