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Burnaby Caprice Synchro Swimmer trains with Synchro Canada in Toronto

Claire Hein-Salvi’s top performance has earned her a spot among the best-synchronized swimmers in the country for the summer.

The 18-year-old member of Burnaby Caprice Synchronized Swim Club is in Toronto for the month of July as one of two junior athletes chosen to train with members of the Senior Next Generation team. She will be attending the NextGen camp at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre under the leadership of Head Coach Manny Wu and Assistant Coaches Laura Swift, Yingli Hou, Emily McKim and Lisa Butler.

The development camp will be a stepping-stone for Hein-Salvi as she prepares to try out for the Center of Excellence during Senior Team Trials in November.

Hein-Salvi earned her spot at the camp after her best performance of the season, landing her in 20th in the country in figures and the only athlete in BC to earn a top 20 ranking at the Synchro Canada Open. As preparations began for the 2018 FINA Junior World Championships, Hein-Salvi was heartbroken to find out that Synchro Canada would only be accepting athletes eligible to compete in the junior category during the 2017/2018 season, meaning she missed the mark by only one year. Luckily, her marks resulted in her being named as one of nine last-year junior athletes invited to apply to participate in their training camp.

After placing in the top 25 last season, Hein-Salvi had her sights on national team trials this year. “All season we have been focusing on her technique and doing whatever it takes to get her to trials” said Burnaby Caprice Assistant Head Coach Alina Aref’yeva. “After her performance in Calgary during the 2016 Canadian Open, we sat down and decided that trials was the right next step for her. She has incredible grit, she puts in work outside of scheduled practice time and it pays off. She came first in all of her events in BC, but when we got to the Qualifying Championships and she came 17th in the country as well as 6th in the Junior Solo category, we knew that our training plan was doing its job. Her dream became a reality. This camp is perfect for her to elevate her performance. She will be training in the best facility with world-class coaches. As an athlete, that’s the best possible way to spend your summer.”

This has been a few years in the making for Hein-Salvi.

“Five years ago, I set myself a goal of making it onto Canada’s National team. Coming from a small club, I knew it would not come easily. Every day, I had to believe in my dream and push myself outside of my comfort zone. This camp is a big stepping-stone in reaching my goal. The athletes and coaches who have taught me so much about our sport inspire me daily. I hope to take this experience back to Burnaby Caprice, showing that anything is truly possible with passion, dedication and hard work.”

It doesn’t end there for Hein-Salvi; only five days after getting back from Toronto, she will be flying to Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri to begin college and swim on the top US collegiate synchronized swimming team in the country. She will be flying back to Canada to participate in national team trials in November as well as in team camps during her breaks from school.

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