Katerina Savarda is aging like a good wine

After taking a second breath of her career at the Toronto Olympics last June, swimmer Catherine Savard continues to ride this wave and experience the best moments of her career, gaining new experiences that make her grow both as a swimmer and as a person.

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“Before the Tokyo trials, I took a second breath of my career and found something I enjoy,” said the three-time Olympian and bronze medalist in the 2016 4x200m freestyle swim in Rio 2016 in Rio de Janeiro at the dawn of the 2016 Canadian Championships. Victoria. Many people thought that my career was over after the Rio Games, and I was the first to think that I would still be in the pool in 2022.

However, on his return from Tokyo, Savard had doubts about the significant changes that would soon take place in his career. After nine years of working with Claude at the St. Jean CAMO Club, the veteran coach wanted to work with the latest and thus reduce travel. Greg Arkhurst will take over Savard.

“At first I didn’t want to, and I told him,” Savard said. I was skeptical whether our personalities would be compatible. I had a lot of trouble leaving Claude, with whom I had a great relationship. We were very close. »

“I was afraid of change and I was very nervous, but Greg asked me to give him a chance to continue Savard. I’m glad I did. We have a very different relationship than I had with Claude, but Greg gives me a lot. As for Claude, I “I see him regularly in the club. It’s the best of both worlds.”

To trust

Savard’s first international experience as part of Arkhurst was at the World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 16 to 21 December. “It was his first favorite event and everything went well. I won three gold and silver medals and we missed the world record for 0 s 1 4×200 m. Greg is obviously helping to breathe new life into my career. »

Demanding to himself, Savarda sometimes tends to judge himself too harshly. “Greg is good at making us believe we’re fine,” said the Pontuge swimmer. Even when the training is not so good, he finds the right words and makes me see the positive. I used to be harsh on myself, and his words give me confidence. »

Profitable experience

In the fall, when Cali Condors was baptized as part of the International Swimming League, Savarda also gained a lot of confidence. “It was a really great experience that helped me on many levels,” she explained. While swimming in the 25-meter pool, I rediscovered my swimming skills. Strategies are really different from the 50-meter pool, and I reached my best times since 2010.

“By training with the best girls in the world on a daily basis, I also realized that I could compete with them,” Savards continued. I also received very positive feedback from coaches who did not know me before and gave me confidence. I am increasingly proud of what I have achieved, regardless of the comments. I prove that I have a place, even if I get older. »

“I like what I do, I’m happy and I’ll stop when I don’t worry anymore, as I did in 2018, when I took a long break and went on a trip,” Savards continued. If it weren’t for this break, my career would be over. »

In Victoria, Savards will debut 100 in butterfly style on Wednesday. His goal is to finish in the top two to get a ticket to the World Cup.

“Since the 100m butterfly Olympics, I’ve returned to my heart,” she said. Three weeks ago, I was faster in the Coupe du Québec than in the Olympic semifinals. I am confident of reaching the 58-year-old standard. We have to see if it will be enough to finish in the first two. »

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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