Olympian athlete. Words that conjure images of dedication, drive and accomplishment, all characteristics that synchronized swimmer Jacqueline Simoneau embodies. The perseverance to perform at the highest levels permeates all aspects of her life, and just a few days after winning silver and bronze medals in the 2017 FINA Synchronized Swimming World Series, she is off to face another challenge.
What are your plans now that FINA has wrapped up?
I am currently in Tenerife volunteering and working on a Marine conservation project. I like to give back but wanted to try something abroad, something completely different from the Make A Wish Foundation that I work with at home (Saint-Laurent, Quebec), and conservation is something that I’ve wanted to be involved with since I was little.
As an elite athlete, is it challenging to find time off from training and difficult to find balance in your life?
I am curious by nature and love to learn as much as I can when I can. I am not sure when my next competition will be since Synchro Canada is going through some restructuring at the moment, so I am concentrating on the Marine project. Back home, I am also part of the robotics club at school, where I am a complete fish out of water, but I am trying to learn the basics of programming and wiring in my spare time. Eventually I would love to be studying medicine and I would also like to stay involved with Make a Wish and be actively giving back to the sport community.
Why the Make a Wish Foundation?
My mother is a ballet teacher and she worked with a girl named Ainsley who was born deaf in one ear was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a genetic disorder that causes debilitating seizures. I had met her once before her surgery, and then followed her tremendous progress afterwards. The moment I attended her Make a Wish party is the moment I knew I wanted to be involved with this organization.
Who are your personal heroes?
I am very fortunate to have a wonderful friend and mentor, Kyle Shewfelt, Olympic Gymnastic Gold medalist. He has helped guided me throughout my career and has always been there for me when I need.
How did you first become interested in synchronized swimming?
I always loved participating in many different sports as a kid and had trouble picking just one. In my search for finding a sport that would cover many different aspects, I discovered synchronized swimming. It is a sport that requires cross training and I can do everything that I love, running, weights, speed swimming, diving, water polo, trampoline and much more!
«I am currently training to compete and hopefully reach the podium in 2020.» — Jacqueline Simoneau
When you compete, are you always solo or do you swim with a team?
I love doing all of the events! I like swimming in a team and achieving something as a team, but I also love solo and duet as it is a completely different atmosphere to train and compete in. I find it more rewarding at times in solo because it is easier to see rapid growth and improvement , whereas in the other events that may take more time.
Was your Olympic experience all you thought it would be?
Honestly the Olympics were a completely surreal experience! I thought that competing against the same competitors that I face during world championships would make it the same, but just having the Olympic rings around the pool makes the experience completely different and a dream come true. I am looking forward and currently training to compete and hopefully reach the podium in 2020.