The swimmer from St-Laurent competed in her first FINA World Championships in synchronized swimming in 2013 when she was 16. She scored a ticket to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games by winning the duet competition at the Pan Am Games the year before with former partner Karine Thomas, who is eight years her senior.
She is also no stranger to being one of the youngest swimmers in the pool.
“I’m used to competing against people who are far older than me,” she said over the phone from the world championship competition in Budapest. “I just don’t realize it anymore.”
She remembered being 18 and competing against her “all-time idols” who were more than 10 years older than her.
As of Tuesday, the fifth day of the synchronized swimming competition, Simoneau will have competed eight of her 12 events. She has ranked fifth in the technical solo event, seventh in technical duet with new partner Claudia Holzner and seventh in the technical team event.
She attributed some of the shakiness to trying to regain the feeling she had at age 14 when she was coached by Johana Vasquez. Simoneau began training with Vasquez in 2008, and after five years apart, they are reunited.
Throughout their time together, Simoneau achieved some of her biggest successes. At the Comen Cup in 2011, she was able to beat some of her Russian competitors, which she says is a challenge for Canadian swimmers because Russia dominates the sport.
Heading into finals, she sits at fifth place behind Japan and Ukraine and hopes the degree of difficulty of her will allow her to excel.
“I’m hoping to push that as much as I can Wednesday.”
Simoneau competes in the team free prelims at 1 p.m.
Story Credit: Montreal Gazette
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons