The Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club is indubitably one of the Yukon’s great sports success stories.
Not only has the club almost doubled in size over the last two years and has a nationally carded athlete with Bronwyn Pasloski, it has a swimmer competing with the Canadian team on the international stage.
On Thursday, at the World Aquatic Championships in Rome, the biggest swim event outside of the Olympics, Whitehorse’s Alexandra Gabor helped propel the Canadian team to an eighth-place finish in the women’s 4×200-metre relay.
“When I dove off the blocks, I was shaking so much from the excitement of it all,” said Gabor in a media release. “We were equal with three other teams and I reminded myself I’m racing for this entire team. It just pushed me to keep swimming really fast.”
Swimming the third leg of the race, Gabor pulled her team from seventh to fifth before Toronto’s Heather MacLean dropped some spots to end the race. Also on the relay team was Montreal’s Genevieve Saumur and Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ontario.
Two days earlier in the 200-metre freestyle, Gabor finished 20th in a field of 92. In the race she set her 21st BC record, beating the senior and girls’ 15-17 record with a time of 1:58.63.
Gabor qualified to compete on the national team two weeks ago at the World Championship Trials/Senior Nationals in Montreal. In the 200-metre freestyle she set a BC record and in the process took second behind MacLean, who set a national record in the race.
Being the second-youngest swimmer on the Canadian team, Gabor was under a lot of pressure, says Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski.
“With the calibre of the meet, you can imagine what type of pressure she’s under for a 16-year-old girl,” he said. “I think she handled it very well; she rose to the occasion.”
At the Championships, Canada won a total of nine medals, including four silver and five bronze.
Contact Tom Patrick at