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New Brunswick swimmer qualifies for Paris Olympic Games

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For the first time since 2000, a swimmer from New Brunswick is heading to the Olympics.

Riverview's Brooklyn Douthwright qualified Friday in the 100-metre freestyle and the 4x100 metre relay during Olympic and Paralympic swimming trials in Toronto.

The team was officially announced Sunday evening at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games begin July 26.

Meeting of Olympians

Fredericton's Marianne Limpert was the last swimmer from New Brunswick to represent Canada at the Olympics during the Sydney Games in 2000.

Limpert was in Toronto over the weekend to watch the Olympic trials and the two swimmers from New Brunswick got to meet up.

“I remember going up to her at a swim meet when I was probably nine and getting her to sign, I think it was a little stuffed animal that I got her to sign. So it was really cool when I was younger, getting to see her on deck. Now that I’m also an Olympian it’s really cool to talk to her again at that level,” said Douthwright.

Limpert remembers seeing Douthwright swim when she was a kid and, even then, thought there was Olympic potential.

“She was fast. She was really, really fast in her events. She was top in New Brunswick, so yeah, I sort of thought with that determination, why not?” said Limpert.

Limpert says she is very proud of Douthwright. When asked what her advice is for the current Olympians Limpert said "have fun and swim fast."

Swimming success

Douthwright has had a lot of success swimming for Canada over the past few years.

The 21-year-old Riverview High School graduate made her first senior national team last year competing at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

She won five medals including gold in the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relay at the Pan American Games last October in Santiago, Chile.

Swimmer Brooklyn Douthwright, from Riverview, N.B., is pictured. (Source: Swimming Canada/Daniel Harrison)

During the 2019 world junior championships, Douthwright won three bronze medals.

Douthwright is currently swimming for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Swimming Canada spokesperson Nathan White said Douthwright is the first swimmer from New Brunswick to qualify for the Olympics since Marianne Limpert in 2000.

"She's taking a big step with her training down in Knoxville," said White.

White said Douthwright used to go up to Toronto for stints with the Ontario Swimming Academy.

"That family has driven back and forth to Toronto a few times for that. She's really put in the work," said White.

Family support

Swimmer Brooklyn Doutbwright is pictured with her mother Shannon Doutbwright on May 21, 2024.

Brooklyn and her mother Shannon Douthwright returned home Tuesday and were welcomed by family and friends.

“I don’t know if it’s 100 per cent kind of set in yet that I’m actually going. I kind of have to keep reminding myself a little bit,” said Douthwright. “It’s been my biggest goal since I started swimming, to qualify for the Olympics, so it’s definitely exciting, that’s an understatement,” she said.

Shannon Douthwright says swimming is an unforgiving sport and Brooklyn made a lot of sacrifices throughout her life.

“She didn’t have all the sleepovers, birthday parties and going camping with friends and whatnot. She has swam since she was seven years old. Maybe three days off in a row is the longest she’s gone,” said Shannon Douthwright.

“You have to be at the pool a lot, in the weight room a lot, so its been nine practices a week, 20 to 24 hours every week since Grade 7, 8,” said Brooklyn Douthwright.

“It takes a lot of time, but not only on my part. My family, coaches, everybody who has invested so much in me, I wouldn’t be there without them.”

Brooklyn isn’t the first member of the family to make it to the Olympics.

Her great aunt Joyce Douthwright was a member of the women’s basketball team at the 1976 games in Montreal.

“She’s been somebody Brooklyn has looked up to all her life,” said Shannon Douthwright.

Paralympic qualifier

Moncton's Danielle Dorris also qualified for the 2024 Canadian Paralympic Team during trials in Toronto this past weekend.

The 21-year-old will be appearing in her third Paralympic Games.

The 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris begin Aug. 28.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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