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Victoria Artistic Swim Club takes Olympian inspiration to next level

The Victoria Artistic Swimming Club athletes watched in a thrall last summer as their club hosted the Canadian national team’s pre-Olympic camp at Saanich Commonwealth Place before the team flew out to Tokyo for the Games.
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The Victoria Artistic Swim Club, shown here performing at the Canadian championship trials in Saskatoon, will celebrate its successful season with a show today at 9:30 a.m. at Saanich Commonwealth Place. Kimberly Vinck Head Coach Victoria Artistic Swimming

The Victoria Artistic Swimming Club athletes watched in a thrall last summer as their club hosted the Canadian national team’s pre-Olympic camp at Saanich Commonwealth Place before the team flew out to Tokyo for the Games.

“Our athletes told me that was incredible motivation for them,” said Kimberly Vinck, who became head coach of the Victoria club in October, taking over from two-decade former coach Tara Grant.

The young local athletes clearly watched, listened and learned well and were inspired by the Olympians. The Victoria club won the qualifier in Saskatoon and then the gold medal in the highlight routine at the national championships in Quebec City last month. The club’s provincial stream athletes had strong podium showings in the Mabel Moran provincial qualifiers this year and at the recent Jean Peters provincials. The sport was previously known as synchronized swimming.

The Victoria club’s first water show since 2019, featuring 70 athletes from the club, will take place today at Saanich Commonwealth Place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Admission is by donation.

“This is a revival from the two-year COVID break and we instilled this year a mindset of ‘yes we can,’ and rebounding back through hard work and grit,” said Vinck.

The new club head coach is an inspiration in herself. Vinck competed for her native Aruba in the Pan Am Games and twice at the world championships and coached the Colombian national team for 10 years.

“We are in the process of team building here and had an amazing season of much adaptation and hard work,” she said.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com