Swimming sisters heading to Summer Games
An Irricana swimmer was pleased when she made it onto the Zone 2 team for the Alberta Summer Games team, but she was thrilled when she found out her younger sister will be her teammate.
Jordyn and Taylor Nixon will be competing with the Big Country swim team at the Summer Games, which are being held July 26 to 29 in Lethbridge.
“I really like that she did make it,” said Jordyn, 13.
“It gives me someone in my family who is going to the Games, and it’s going to be a good experience for her. I’ve travelled on my own before without our parents, but she hasn’t.”
The Nixon sisters are from Irricana, but compete with the Nose Creek Swim Association (NSCA) in Airdrie.
Jordyn has been swimming competitively for four years, while Taylor has been competing for two years.
Jordyn’s inspiration to swim competitively came from watching one of the most famous swim races in the history of the sport.
“I was watching the 2008 Olympics and watching Michael Phelps swim his 200 IM race,” she said.
“I told my dad that I wanted to try it.”
The Games will be another opportunity for Jordyn to add to a growing medal collection.
This season with NCSA, she won two gold medals at two separate events in Lethbridge and Edmonton, winning the 4x50-metre and 4x50-metre IM relays.
However, 2012 will be her first and last Alberta Summer Games.
She missed trying out for the 2010 Games, which were held in Peace Region, and after this year, she will be too old to compete as the swimmers can only be 14 years old or younger.
The Zone 2 tryouts were held May 25 at the Talisman Sports Centre in Calgary, and Jordyn qualified to compete in even races, including the 50-metre fly and the 200-metre IM, which she counts as her favourites.
“I thought I should tryout for the experience,” she said.
“The tryouts were nerve wracking. I hurt my wrist in the 50-metre fly coming into the wall, so it made the last two races kind of hard. But I made it and I was really happy.”
Taylor, 11, who will also compete in seven races, found the qualifying process a bit daunting as well.
“There were a lot of people, so it was a bit overwhelming a first,” she said. “Then, I felt like I had a chance (to make the team), and it was cool and exciting.”
While both sisters are hoping to bring home a medal or two from the Games, they’re first priority is achieving their personal bests.
Whatever the outcome, both are taking comfort in having a familiar face along for the four-day ride.
“It’s nice to have Jordyn there because it’s family,” Taylor said.
“It’ll be cool to be with her and it’s cool that we both made the team.”
“(Taylor’s) ready,” said Jordyn. “I believe in her.”