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UTSC swimmer proud to compete for school and country

Paige Schultz took home Bronze at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico City. She will represent U of T and Canada at the upcoming 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Ken Jones)

UTSC student Paige Schultz is eagerly anticipating another chance to represent her country and her school at the upcoming Universiade this summer.

“Being able to represent my country, my school and my family all at the same time is like no other feeling,” says Schultz from San Jose, California, where she is preparing for a swim meet before breaking for a training camp with her team.

Schultz, a fourth-year humanities major, is no stranger to international competition having been named to eleven national teams. A member of the Varsity Blues swim team in 2010-2011, she helped lead the women to a silver medal at the Ontario University Athletics championship and a bronze-medal finish at the nationals. She also won the 50-metre butterfly at the CIS championships in 2011 and in the process secured her first appearance on a senior national roster.

Schultz also hopes to build on the bronze-medal performance she put in at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico City where she was a member of the Canadian 4x100 freestyle relay team that placed third.

What is remarkable is that she turned in the performance after suffering from a suspected case of food poisoning only two days before the event. Despite losing three kilograms of body weight during her illness, Schultz remembers staying positive throughout the ordeal. “I can’t be negative about this. I don’t want this to affect me,” she recalls telling herself.

Despite having an admittedly tough season last year where she barely made the cut for the national finals, she has rebounded and feels as fresh and energized as ever heading into the Universiade. “This year I changed my entire attitude towards everything including school, life and swimming,” she says. “It’s made a big difference in the way I train and compete.”

Organized by the International Sports Federation (FISO), the Universiade brings together university athletes from around the world for a multi-sport competition. The 2013 summer competition will be held in Kazan, Russia in July. It will be the second time Schultz has competed in the summer Universiade having represented U of T and Canada at the 2011 competition in Shenzhen, China.

She knows what to expect from the field of competition, noting it will be faster than at the Pan Am Games. Nevertheless, she remains confident in her ability to prepare both physically and psychologically.

“It's a lot of me believing I can do it but not allowing myself to over think and over-react about the small things that I can't control.” 

As for the future, she looks forward to qualifying for the 2015 Pan Am Games where would get a shot to compete in front of a home crowd at the aquatics facility currently being built at UTSC.


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