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Canada’s Artistic Swimming Duet begin competition at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo, August 1st, 2021 – The first artistic swimmers to begin competition at the 2020 Olympic Games for Canada will be the duet pair of Claudia Holzner, 27, from Calgary, AB and Jacqueline Simoneau, 24, from Saint-Laurent, QC. Held at the beautiful Tokyo Aquatic Centre, where the Olympic swimming competition just concluded, the duet event will feature competitors from 22 countries.

Canada’s duet pair has been swimming together since the FINA 2017 World Championships. Jacqueline will be making her return to Olympic competition, after finishing 7th in Rio in 2016 with former partner Karine Thomas. For her 2020 partner Claudia, who has been on the national team since 2012, this is a lifelong dream: “I can’t wait for the feeling of the first dive into the pool. It will be like, WOW, I made it, I’m finally here. Being in the pool and feeling everything in the water will be a special moment for me!”

Their two competitive routines, both choreographed by Denise Sauvé, showcase different aspects of their athletic prowess. For the technical event, the “Let’s Dance” themed routine combines strong acrobatic elements with entertaining dance moves to create an entertaining and memorable, yet highly skilled performance.

The free routine pays homage to their Japanese hosts at these Tokyo 2020 Games. Both Claudia and Jacqueline have travelled and competed in Japan and wanted the music and the choreography to reflect many of their favorite components of Japanese culture. They have woven that into the acrobatic highlights, spins and hybrid moves. 

The event begins with the Duet Free preliminary round on Monday, August 2nd, where the pair will be third to dive in for their routine. The Duet Technical event will follow on August 3rd, with Canada competing 12th

Scores from these two events will be added up to determine the 12 competitors to take part in the Free Routine final, which will take place on August 4th. The Technical Routine score will be carried over and added to the Free Routine score from the final to determine the final rankings.

The duet has set its sights firmly on moving up in the World ranking. They had a strong season on the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series (ASWS), culminating in a gold medal at the ASWS Super Final in Barcelona.  

The coaching team in Tokyo with the duet are Head Coach Gábor Szauder and Assistant Coach Kasia Kulesza. Canada has one Olympic judge assigned to the event, Nancy Reed from Montreal, QC. 
Event Schedule
August 2nd        Duet Free Routine Preliminary
August 3rd        Duet Technical Routine 
August 4th        Duet Free Routine Final

All events get underway at 7:30 pm in Tokyo, which is 6:30 am (Eastern) and 3:30 am (Pacific)

Canada’s Medal Record at the Olympics in Duet Event:
Gold – Carolyn Waldo, Michelle Cameron – Seoul 1988
Silver – Kelly Kryczka, Sharon Hambrook – Los Angeles 1984
Silver – Penny Vilagos, Vicky Vilagos – Barcelona 1992

About Canada Artistic Swimming

Canada Artistic Swimming is an organization that fosters the pursuit of excellence while developing athletes, citizens, and ambassadors of the sport of artistic swimming at all levels. From its 1924 beginnings in Montréal, artistic swimming has been actively pursued by more than 70 countries worldwide. Canada proudly ranks among the best of these nations.

For further information, visit Canada Artistic Swimming’s Website at or follow Canada Artistic Swimming on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For information:
Stéphane Côté (Tokyo)
Director of Communications & Events

François Hamelin (Canada)
Communication Advisor