Two-time Olympic medalist Taylor Ruck is moving up to Canada to train with the High Performance Centre – Ontario. Lead by Ben Titley, the squad of Penny Oleksiak, Michelle Toro, Chantal Van Landeghem, Rebecca Smith, Kayla Sanchez, Sandrine Mainville, and Richard Funk will welcome Taylor Ruck early this summer. Ruck will fit in nicely with this group – it’s almost as though the program was built for her. She is a junior world record holder, a Short Course World Championships medalist, and has two Olympic medals to her name. Surrounded with like-minded and other goal-oriented swimmers, Ruck will be in an environment where she can focus on meters swimming and getting back to her world leading times she posted this past summer.
Ruck was born in Kelowna, British Columbia. When she was ten months old her family moved to Arizona and she has been training in Scottsdale with her Coach Kevin Zacher up to this point in her career. The Scottsdale Aquatic Club currently has approximately 270 swimmers divided into ten groups with 24-36 swimmers in each group. The 16-year-old will leave her club team and high school and shift her focus to metres swimming in Canada.
Editor’s Note: a previous version of this article said Ruck moved to Arizona at 3 years old.
Ruck’s new environment will give her access to everything she needs to succeed in the pool. From her own lane space, to world class support services such as sport science, medical support, and massage therapy. Ruck will be attending high school and living with a billet-host family in Canada for the next year and 3 months. Ben Titley said “Having Ruck train every day with the other girls her age (Rebecca Smith, Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez) will be beneficial for everyone as will being around and learning from the other seasoned swimmers like Chantel Van Landegham, Sandrine Mainville, Richard Funk and Michelle Toro (Williams).
Supportive of her decision, her club coach Kevin Zacher will continue to play a role in Ruck’s swimming. Ruck said “I would not be where I am today without Kevin. However, as I am moving to Toronto for summer and next year, he will play less of a role in the training aspect.” She continued, “He knows how passionate I am about pursuing my goals and that this is an amazing opportunity for me.” Although Ruck is making the move to Canada to finish high school, her college plans have not changed. She is still looking to go to college in the USA and compete in the NCAA.
Taylor Ruck will be heading to Jr. World Championships at the end of August with Oleksiak, Rebecca Smith, and Sanchez. Before that, Ruck will be competing at Mare Nostrum in June, and another meet that is yet to be decided.