Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/5/2017 (1137 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Competitive swimmer Sydney Hnatuk is preparing for the summer of a lifetime as she looks forward to competing in both the Maccabiah and Canada Summer Games.
The Charleswood resident won six medals at the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games. Now turning 15, the Grade 9 student at Grant Park High School is testing the waters at international level.
"I finished all the (swimming) lessons by nine and they said you need something else to do, so they suggested club swimming," Hnatuk said, explaining how she got involved in the sport. "At the beginning, I didn’t know I wanted to compete. I just did it for the fun of it."
When she was 11, Hnatuk decided competitive swimming was something she wanted to succeed at. Despite injuring her knees this year, the Jr. Bisons swim club member is expanding her repertoire to open-water swimming for her upcoming competitions.
"If I like it, that opens a whole bunch more doors, because not as many people do open water," she said. "It’s about trying to stay on course, maybe being more externally focused, realizing where the other girls are and how I have to hold onto speed or and how to change my stroke to keep up."
The Grant Park student says distance races tend to be her strong suit.
"I don’t have a lot of fast twitch muscles, my reaction times aren’t very good," she said. "Sprinting isn’t my thing. I can’t get enough speed fast enough, and in distance I can hold a pace longer, hold onto it all the way."
Hnatuk says both the Maccabiah Games, which take place in Israel from July 4 to 18, and the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg from July 28 to Aug. 13 — will be huge opportunities
She admits, though, that she really wants to excel at the Maccabiah swim meet. Featuring 10,000 athletes from over 80 countries, it’s one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
"I’ve never been off the continent, so that will be cool," Hnatuk said.
In preparation, Hnatuk is following a rigorous swimming and dry-land training program, with nine sessions per week.
"I’m just trying to change small things in my technique that make me stronger," she said.
Hnatuk says she’s been able to keep up a good balance between sports, school and life so far.
"My family is really supportive so it’s not that hard. They understand if I have to practice or need to go and study, they give me my time and space," she said.
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko is the community journalist for The Metro Email her at alana.trachenko@canstarnewscom Call her at 204-697-7132
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