CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
Swimmer inspired to share her success
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:04PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:43PM MDT
Thirty years after retiring from elite-level competition, Kelly Kryczka-Irwin is now using synchronized swimming to motivate a new generation and is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
The eleven and twelve year old Calgary Aquabelles Synchronized Swimming team is coached by someone who knows what it takes to reach the podium.
In 1984, synchronized swimming was an Olympic sport for the first time and Kelly Kryczka and her partner Sharon Hambook won the silver medal at the games that year in Los Angeles.
The pair also won gold at the World Championships and the Pan American Games.
Aquabelles head coach Jenn Tregale says it's inspiring for the young swimmers to have a coach who has accomplished so much in the sport.
“Being the original Olympian for synchronized swimming, I think she brings a lot to the sport, she's part of our history, she's part of the club's history, she's part of this country's history and I think that the fact that she can bring that to our future kids is so amazing,” said Tregale.
Taylor Williamson spent two years in Kryczka’s group and sees her as a wonderful role model.
“She's done her turn at, like the Olympics and yet she still swims and she's still so fit and so active, so I think that's really inspiring and she still wants to continue on,” said Williamson.
Kryczka still competes at the masters’ level. “I'm still swimming at the masters level and enjoying it and having success at it. Of course my age group is bigger than it's ever been but I still love it.”
Cameron Hooey is also in Kryczka’s Aquabelles group this year and is loving it.
“She's really supportive and she really likes to push you and make you feel good once you've competed and she's a really nice person,” said Hooey.
Kryczka says she loves what she is doing but she also looks back fondly on what she has accomplished.
“Those were the glory days, for sure, and I think that at the time that you're living them you probably don't appreciate them as much as you should but as time goes by and I have my own children and I coach my own kids here at the pool I realize how special , that was a special time in my life,” said Kryczka-Irwin
She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1996.
For all she's done for her sport as a competitor and coach, Kelly Kryczka-Irwin is our inspiring Albertan this week.