Ottawa teenage swimmer equals record for most medals at 2022 Canada Games

As a child, Julie Brousseau from Ottawa was afraid of water.

Now the 16-year-old competitive swimmer splashes around in a pool at least once a day.

“I would just be really scared to get in the water. But I think once I started swimming…I liked it,” Brousseau said. “It’s a pretty rewarding sport.

“That makes me quite happy.”

This growing passion has led to several momentous victories over the past month for the young athlete.

Brousseau came away with 11 medals — six gold, one silver and four bronze — at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in St. Catharines, Ont., which ended earlier this month. There were 317 swimmers, Para-swimmers and Special Olympians competing at the six-day meet.

Brousseau won three of those medals in just over an hour on the final day of the games.

Her phenomenal streak landed her in the record books this year – she tied the record for the most medals won at a single Canada Games with Ontario swimmer Hanna Henderson who set her Olympics record. Canada Summer of 2017, according to Swimming Canada.

Brousseau juggles life as a high school student while training nine times a week, hours at a time. (Avanthika Anand/CBC)

“When I was younger, I never really thought I would be able to do this or go to the Canada Games. But the harder you push, the more you realize it’s possible,” said Brousseau, who added that it was his first time at this meet.

“To be able to win 11, which is pretty special, and just do it for Team Ontario…that was pretty cool.”

Brousseau said she was surprised at her own performance, thanking her coach, parents, grandparents and friends for helping her succeed and supporting her.

“It’s getting really close and there’s so many other fast girls around you’re not sure – like anything could really happen.”

And after

Brousseau said she trained for those moments, while juggling her studies as an honors student at Nepean High School.

In fact, she was in class this spring when she found out she was going to the Canada Games.

“My mom texted me because she got an email saying I was selected and I was super excited,” she said.

Now she is targeting the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships next week in Honolulu.

She trains about nine times a week now, hours at a time, and hopes for a few more medals to add to her collection.

“I feel well prepared after the Canada Games,” said Brousseau. “[My hope] is to have fun and try to make it to the final…and do my best.”

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