If the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club was holding a competition this weekend, some meet records would get smashed in a big way.
This weekend the swim club is getting a visit from Olympian Scott Dickens, who represented Canada in the pool at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“Swim Yukon makes it a point to get people up here, knowing the kids aren’t exposed to it all the time,” said Glacier Bears head coach Stephanie Dixon. “It’s important for them to see that caliber of swimming.”
In London, Dickens placed 13th in the 200-metre breaststroke and 16th in the 100-metre breaststroke. The 28-year-old also helped the Canadian men’s medley relay team to an eighth-place finish.
Dickens also won a gold and a silver at the 2007 Pan Pacific Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Team Canada swimmer will be in town Friday to Sunday for his visit, which was organized by Swim Yukon.
“He sent out an email to all the clubs around B.C. area that he was available to come up for talks and things like that,” said Dixon. “We were hoping to get an Olympian of some kind up (here), so it was just perfect timing.
“We decided to bring him up for our time trial so the kids get to see him swim. And he can give them tips on their breaststroke.”
Dickens will be working with the Glacier Bears’ senior swimmers Friday night and will be giving tips to the club’s younger swimmers at a time trial event on Saturday.
The Burlington, Ontario, native will also be giving a free talk that’s open to the public Saturday at 10 a.m. in the concourse area upstairs at the Canada Games Centre.
Dickens will end his visit, which is his second to the Yukon, by meeting with the public again Sunday morning 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Canada Games Centre’s aquatic centre.
“It’s really exciting and it will make a big impact on the kids, to see him swim and hear him talk, hear his story,” said Dixon. “We’re all really excited.”
Dickens will be the second Canadian Olympian to visit the Yukon this month. At the start of November Montreal’s Antoine Valois-Fortier was in the territory for a visit. Valois-Fortier won a bronze in the 81-kilogram division at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this past July. He was the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in judo since the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.
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