Megan Drake | Synchronized Swimming
Kristyn Filip | Fulcrum Staff
Photo courtesy of Ralph Buchal
“Meet a Gee-Gee” takes a look at the people under the jerseys. Whether they’re varsity athletes or otherwise, we ask the players questions you want answers to. We get the dirt, straight from the horse’s mouth.
MEGAN DRAKE, A third-year University of Ottawa student majoring in psychology and minoring in French as a second language, has been a member of the Gee-Gees synchronized swimming team for three years. She opened up to the Fulcrum about her plans for the future, staying focused, and what she loves most about being a Gee-Gee.
The Fulcrum: Can you describe a week in the life of a member of the Gee-Gees synchronized swimming team? How often do you practice? What competitions do you participate in?
Megan Drake: We practice seven and a half hours a week—7 a.m. practices on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as well as a three-hour practice Sunday nights. The Gee-Gees compete in three competitions throughout the season: McGill invitational in Montreal, Eastern Divisionals, which will be hosted by Queens in Kingston, and Nationals, which will be at the University of Western Ontario in London. We also have an end of the year water show at the U of O to showcase our clubs routines.
Did anyone encourage you to pursue the sport?
My mom encouraged me to try synchro and ever since she has been my biggest supporter and number one fan. She’s helped me with everything from gelling my hair to [sewing sequins on] my suit, and she’s always there to cheer me on. I know I would not be where I am today without all of her support.
What has been the highlight of your time on the U of O’s synchronized swimming team?
The 2011-2012 season was definitely a highlight for me. We had such a dedicated, talented group of swimmers, along with our coach, and we all meshed very well together. We managed to work hard and have fun at the same time. Placing second and third at two competitions also contributed to making it such a fun year.
Fill in the blank: My teammates would say I am the most likely to _______________.
Help maintain focus among the group. Especially during hard workouts, it helps to have our team focused and actively working towards our goals.
What is the most challenging part of synchronized swimming?
The most challenging part about synchronized swimming is that we have to successfully combine gymnastics, swimming, and dancing. We spend excessive amounts of time underwater, either throwing people out of the water or sticking our legs out from upside down. When we are above water and get to breathe, we have to make it all look easy and as if we are having the time of our lives while performing.
What is the biggest misconception about your sport?
That we touch the bottom of the pool—that would be a big time penalty. Also, if one synchronized swimmer drowns, the rest don’t follow.
What is your favourite thing about being a Gee-Gee?
The supportive atmosphere at the university is amazing; there is always a push to do it stronger, faster or better.
Do you plan to continue participating in synchronized swimming after you graduate?
I plan on coaching and staying involved in synchronized swimming as long as I can. I love the sport, and I don’t think I could ever get my fill.
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