To our supporters:

I have never known what heartbreak really feels like until today. My body, my heart and my mind are mourning a loss almost as great as a loss of a loved one. When I was young I only knew that the Olympics was a dream, something at the end of the road that I wanted to be a part of one day. That goal has been nurtured, fed and it has grown into something I believe in. I have spent the last 15 years working towards a dream that used to look so unattainable until now. There are no words to describe the disappointment I feel, yet also the pride!

After that “once in a lifetime” tech swim, everybody believed our olympic dream was reachable and to have lost it by 0.7 in the end is heartbreaking. We were so close… It will take a while for me to wrap my head around what happened here in Rio as well as how to deal with the waves of despair that will surely come my way, but I hope that with time I will be able to look back on this experience as one of triumph, not one of loss. It was truly an amazing last swim for this Olympic cycle; we are disappointed, but we will come back from this even stronger.

I have no regrets. I know that my team gave it all they had. We poured our hearts into those swims and we gave them a fight until the bitter end. We shined so bright and there is so many good things, even exceptional things, that have happened to us these last few months. Looking back on the last 4 years, I have lived a dream. Not many people can say they have travelled the world, competing with the people they love. It has been such an incredible learning experience to be a part of this team and I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

Thank you Canada. Your support has been such a beautiful piece to this journey. I have never seen this many people come together to cheer for one team and I am so proud to be part of a country that is so loving. I hope in the end, you know how much we fought for Canada to be in the Olympics. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement as well as your compassion. For me, the journey is not over. I will continue to swim for Canada, as long as you will have me, and I will be sure to bring what I have learnt here to the new girls that will join us in the future. With your on going support, we will come back from this knowing that our country is behind us and we will become the Olympians we deserve to be.


Published by Claudia Holzner

Hello Everyone!! I am a synchronized swimmer on the Canadian National Team. Follow my blog to get an inside look at what it is like to be an elite athlete! Enjoy!!

12 thoughts on “Rio

  1. You girls swam amazing!! My team stopped practice to watch your free team on Sunday. Canada deserves a spot at the Olympics! I hope you keep swimming ❤️


  2. Inspiring before, during and after. Thank you Claudia for your amazing passion.

    And you are right – you WILL become the Olympians you deserve to be.


  3. Can anyone shed light on how this works for me… I’m just confused as to how a team like Canada cannot have a place in the Olympics, where there will be MANY teams that do not even come close to their score that will have a place at the games. In past Olympics, how did Spain, Italy, Canada, Japan, and China, all make it to the games if only the top 3 make it? If these have been the best teams for the past 8 years, how have they all ended up at the games if they all compete against one another at the qualifiers and only the top 3 have a place? How is it a legitimate competition if we are knocking out some of the highest scoring teams? Is something different this year than other years? I’m just confused as to how this system works.


    1. Hi Brittany,

      Here’s how it works. The top country from each continent takes a spot. Generally, that means Russia, China, Canada, Egypt and Australia for example… This year Canada’s spot is taken by Brazil because they are the host country of the Olympics, though we did earn our spot for the Olympics at the Pan Am Games it doesn’t count.

      The next step to qualify is for the rest of the teams to go to the Olympic Qualifier, from there the top 3 countries go to the Olympics. Make more sense?


      1. Excellent clarification. I think it is important for the public and for synchro swimmers in Canada to know how this works so they can better understand what just happened . It is really heartbreaking to think Canada won’t be there when they are so very good! Congratulations to everyone and thank you for your positive and uplifting words – I know many up and coming synchro swimmers in Canada and beyond read your blog and this will help them to both understand it all and to keep striving to be the best they can be in this incredible sport with the goal that one day some of them will be representing Canada at the highest level!


      2. Yes it does, thank you. To have a team like Canada, who has for so long been so talented, influential, and inspiring within the sport of synchronized swimming, not be deemed ‘qualified’ to compete in the games is just… wrong. I’ve watched the routine so many times, and each time I am floored by the originality and beauty you all exude.

        Your eternal fan,



  4. Claudia, I was thinking of you and your team last weekend, in past months and years. Thanks for sharing your first so powerful reflection, well spoken! I can feel your disappointment, pride and gratefulness, it’s great to see you can look at this in terms of growth, not only a loss. I’m proud of you and your team that you have performed at your best, with no regrets, when it counted! I’m inspired by your words. Take care


    1. Thank you Frank! I must say, it has taken a long time for me to understand how to look past the losses, but I had some good teachers along the way (that’s you!). Thank you for helping me get through some of the toughest moments and also the best moments.


  5. Claudia, you and your team have made Canadians very proud. How lucky we were to watch it all live!!!! Congrats on your placement and hard work. We feel for you, working so hard and not making it. Good luck with your future whatever path you choose. ♥


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