Mount A varsity swimmer to compete in Olympic trials
Every now and again, an athlete will get a oncein-a-lifetime experience. For Mount Allison swimmer Mitchell Peters, that moment will happen in Cancun, Mexico on April 24.
He will be competing in a grueling 10 kilometre open-water swim in hopes of earning himself a spot to swim in the Olympic semifinals to be held in Portugal June 29.
Swim Canada has selected eight swimmers, four men and four women, to attend this international event. However, from a swim that took place in Brazil last month, there has already been one male Canadian swimmer chosen to represent Canada, meaning that Mitchell will be competing against three other swimmers for the last available spot.
Earlier this season, Mitchell qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100-200 and 400 free pool events. He was given approval to attend the event in Cancun by Swim Canada and the Canadian Olympic swim team coach based on the results of those events.
He has been training since the start of the school year, swimming three to four hours every day in order to prepare to face the stronger international field.
Each of the athletes present, 40 swimmers from across South and North America, will also be trying to earn themselves one of four positions that their country is offering; two males and two females.
“This is a new event for Mitchell so I’m not making any predictions, so many things have to go right and so many things have to fall in place for the swim to be successful,” says coach John Peters
“Mitchell has had a great year so far and we are both very excited. We leave for Mexico April 20 and will meet with the Canadian team and spend a couple days training on the course.”
A lot of things can go wrong in an open water swim; it all depends on the weather and the tides. Swimmers can run into waves, jellyfish, and even sharks - but at the moment his biggest disadvantage will be that he has not swam in open water conditions since midOctober when he competed and won the 10 kilometre swim held in Bermuda.
However, despite this, Mitchell remains optimistic.
“My goal for this race is to break two hours which will hopefully put me in a position to advance to Portugal,” he says. “My practices have gotten significantly longer and harder since my last swim meet and I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. It is going to be a fun and exciting time in Cancun.”
If Mitchell succeeds in qualifying for Portugal, he may become one of 25 male swimmers from across the world selected to go to the London 2012 Olympics.
In order to compete, he has received some limited funding from both Mount A and Swim New Brunswick, which will come in useful for covering the cost of the venture.
“I figure the race will cost around $5,000 but it’s one of those once-in-life opportunities, so in our opinion it’s worth taking a shot,” says coach Peters. “Olympic Games only take place every four years so it’s now or never.”
Sackville’s Mitchell Peters will compete in a grueling 10 kilometre open-water swim in hopes of earning himself a spot to swim in the Olympic semi-finals to be held in Portugal June 29.