Canada Summer Games medals have swimmer setting sights on Olympics
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:29PM EDT
When you’re involved in the same sport as your parents and older siblings, it can feel challenging to try and live up to those expectations.
For Tori Meklensek, it isn’t about to living up to them. It’s about surpassing them.
“I really want to go to the Olympics,” the Kitchener teen says.
“It’s one of my biggest dreams. It’s been my dream since I got into the pool.”
Meklensek’s parents were both competitive swimmers. Her mother, Allison, won medals at national meets while representing the University of Waterloo.
They passed their love of swimming on to their three daughters – and it’s become clear in recent years that Tori, the youngest of the three, might have the best shot at representing Canada.
Her coach, Russ Franklin, says the 15-year-old Meklensek has the passion and natural talent to go as far in the sport as she wants to.
“You put those two things together … and there you have it,” he says.
“If she can take her spirit and her competitive drive all the way through, she’ll be fine.”
This summer, Meklensek competed under the Ontario flag at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
She won three silver medals, including one in the 200-metre freestyle, which she considers one of her specialties.
But while she might dream of one day competing on a bigger stage, Meklensek says there’s something else that motivates her to make it through her twice-daily practice swims.
“It’s really good stress relief,” she says.
“When you’re in the water, all you think about is your stroke technique and all your other problems just slip away.”
With reporting by Randy Steinman