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UTSC swimmer brings home Pan Am medal

Paige Schultz during her medal-winning race.

UTSC student Paige Schultz brought home a bronze medal last month from the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. She was one of the women on Canada’s 4X100 meter relay team, which clocked in at 3:48.37, placing behind a record-setting US team and Brazil.

“Winning a bronze was definitely a very cool feeling,” says Schultz. “Especially being able to share it with my team.”

Schultz is an Olympic hopeful who will be trying to make the Canadian team next year.  She was a member of the Varsity Blues swimming team in 2010-11 and helped to lead the women to a silver medal at the Ontario University Athletics championships and a bronze-medal finish at the national event. Schultz is the Canadian Interuniversity Sport defending 50-meter butterfly champion.

Her performance in the relay at the Pan Am Games was especially impressive considering that she was suffering from a suspected case of food poisoning just two days before.

But although she lost 3 kilograms of body weight during the illness, she says she maintained a positive attitude when time came for the competition.

“I told myself, ‘I can’t be negative about this. I don’t want this to affect me,’” Schultz says.

 Varsity Blues swim coach Byron MacDonald says that Schultz has a good shot at making the Olympic team this year, although she faces stiff Canadian competition in her best event, the 200-meter individual medley. She’ll also be trying for a spot in the 200-meter freestyle event.

“I have a lot of work to do,” Schultz says. “But I’ve always been optimistic.”

Beyond the Olympics, Schultz is excited about the possibility of competing at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Those games will be held at a new facility which will be constructed on the UTSC campus, for which the site is being prepared now. That will give the Toronto native the chance to compete in front of family, friends, and classmates.

MacDonald says that appearing at home in an international competition is a rare opportunity.

“If you’re really lucky the chance comes around once in a lifetime,” he says.




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