Alexandra Gabor entered the record books on Tuesday, becoming the first Yukon swimmer to win a medal at the Canada Summer Games.
Gabor won bronze in the 100-metre freestyle event.
“I’ve been looking forward to these Games for a while,” said Gabor. “I didn’t really know what my placing would be back in, like, January, but then I started improving, saw I was going to be (ranked) first, so I knew I was going to have a really good opportunity to get a medal for the Yukon.
“Today I would have liked to get a gold, but I had a best time, so I’m happy with it.”
It’s only the third medal Team Yukon has ever won at a Canada Games. The territory’s other two medals were both in cycling – a silver in 1989 and a bronze in 2005.
In the Charlottetown pool, Gabor set her fifth BC record for this year’s Games, bringing her career total up to the staggering count of 55, 20 of which still stand today. (Yukon swimmers are included in Swim BC’s record book.)
Gabor recently competed at the World Aquatic Championships in Rome, where she helped the national team reach eighth in the 4×200-metre freestyle. She also finished 20th in the 200-metre freestyle, setting another BC record.
However, with medals possibly within her grasp, there is more pressure on Gabor competing in PEI, she said.
“There’s pressure from myself and from the Yukon because I’m in a medal situation,” said Gabor. “In Rome I didn’t really have that kind of pressure – I wasn’t going for first.
“But it’s fun; I know a lot of people here, I’ve been on teams with them.”
There may very well be more good news heading to the Yukon in upcoming days. Gabor still has numerous events to race in before the Games wrap up on Saturday, including her two strongest events, the 400-metre freestyle on Wednesday and the 200-metre freestyle on Thursday.
Of course, other Yukon swimmers can’t be ruled out. Since the start of the swimming events, every single one of the Yukon swimmers have set personal bests – some by large margins.
For instance, Yukon’s Tanner Cassidy shaved a full 18 seconds off his best time in the 800-metre freestyle, finishing 13th, and five seconds off his 200-metre butterfly, qualifying as an alternate for the finals.
“It’s exciting and we’ve done a long training session – (Yukon head swim coach Marek Poplawski) has been preparing us for this,” said Cassidy. “It’s been great, been meeting lots of great people.
“It’s a big (meet), it’s different from anything else we go to.”
All the swimmers competing as representatives of the Yukon are all from the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club. Poplawski, who also coaches the Glacier Bears, sees this year’s many successes as a taste of things to come.
“We took 15 swimmers to the Games – younger swimmers, older swimmers – and they’re all doing best times,” said Poplawski. “It’s all about improving results, best times, and they all get motivation to do even better next year.
“It’s just the beginning, there’s still some to go.”
“I should mention everybody because everybody is doing well, so it’s hard to not mention somebody,” added Poplawski.
“I’m very proud.”
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