Skip to content

Anderson wins big at swimming provincials

The promising young swimmer clinches gold, silver, and bronze at the Calgary event.
Eleven-year-old St. Albert swimmer Elsa Anderson poses with one of her medals at the Swim Alberta Summer Provincial Championships in Calgary. REBECCA ANDERSON

Over the weekend, St. Albert's very own Elsa Anderson made waves at the Swim Alberta Summer Provincials, held from July 27-30.

At just 11 years old, Elsa secured a gold, silver, and bronze medal, and her 200-metre fly time (2:48.7) now ranks as the third-fastest in her age group nationwide.

Elsa began her journey into competitive swimming four years ago with the Olympian Swim Club. Rebecca Anderson, Elsa's proud mother, said Elsa learned to swim at Fountain Park Recreation Centre and transitioned to competitive swimming after successfully trying out for the Olympian team.

"She swam at Fountain Park with Olympian Swim Club, even through the COVID-19 pandemic, until the facility was closed for renovations," Rebecca said, noting her daughter’s persistence in the face of adversity. 

While awaiting the renovations, Elsa continued training rigorously at other pools, including the facilities at MacEwan University, the University of Alberta, and the Kinsmen. She's now with the Age Group Performance team at the Olympian Swim Club, dedicating six days a week to honing her craft.

While her recent victory has brought her into the limelight, this isn't Elsa's first time making a splash. She won and placed at various local and regional swim meets over the years, including winning the 200m fly event at the recent Edmonton Keyano Invitational earlier this summer. Elsa's gold in the 200m butterfly, silver in the 400m individual medley, and bronze in the 400m free at the Alberta Summer Championship Provincials build on this already-sterling legacy.

At provincials, Elsa showcased her dedication and skill, competing in seven events plus one relay, where she made finals and swam personal best times in all events except one. 

Qualifying for the Swim Alberta Summer Provincials was no small feat. Elsa had to rank within the top 20 for her age group in the province, and she managed to do so in 11 out of the 15 possible long-course events. But that's not all. Despite being only 11, Elsa has also already qualified for the 12-year-old Swim Alberta Winter Provincial Trials for the upcoming 2023-24 season in eight events.

Speaking on Elsa's dedication, Rebecca expresses immense pride in her daughter.

"She is learning first-hand that hard work and commitment will lead to success."

The early morning training sessions, especially during the cold winter mornings, haven't been easy. Yet, Elsa has remained unwavering in her commitment.

"Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to swim for two hours before school isn’t easy, especially in those dark, cold winter days," Rebecca said, "but she does so without complaint."

When asked about the most thrilling aspect of competing at the provincials, Elsa mentions "swimming with, and getting to know, all the other swim girls from across Alberta," the exhilaration of "racing in finals," and, of course, "winning all three colours of medals."

Looking to the future, Elsa's ambitions soar high.

In the short term, she aims to win a medal in the upcoming winter short course provincial championship. But her long-term goals are even more ambitious: she hopes to compete at Westerns and Canadian Nationals and has aspirations to join a university team. And like many in her sport, she dreams of one day representing Canada at the Olympics.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks