International swimmers


Cobourg swimmer to represents Canada on National team Kristina Steins heads to Europe

Kristina now representing Latvian Fedration has set 12 National Records during the 2015-16 season.

Kristina is now off to the European Championships in London May 15th - 23rd 2016 swimming 50 back 100 back 50 free 4 x 100 mixed relay

Cobourg swimmer to represent Canada on National Team Cobourg swimmer to represent Canada on national team Karen Longwell / Northumberland COBOURG --

Swimmer Kristina Steins, 17, seen here holding medals from world trials in Victoria, dreams of going to the Olympics in 2016. She recently qualified to go to Barcelona this summer to represent Canada in the world swimming championships. April 30, 2013. Northumberland News By Karen Longwell COBOURG --

Cobourg swimmer Kristina Steins heads to Barcelona this summer in what could be the path to the Olympics. Kristina, 17, a Grade 12 student at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute West, qualified to swim on team Canada for the FINA world championships in Barcelona, an international swim competition. The event runs from July 19 to Aug. 4.

Qualifying for the event has meant a lot of hard work. Kristina started competitive swimming at nine years old with the Northumberland Aquatic Club. Kristina said her older sister used to swim but her parents didn't swim competitively. When she was about 12 years old she switched to the Dolphins Swim Club in Whitby and most recently moved to the Burlington Dolphins Swim Club.

Travelling to Burlington for training means a busy schedule but Kristina doesn't mind. "I love swimming -- waking up at 5 or 4 a.m. doesn't phase me at all," she said. Kristina swims at the Cobourg YMCA on Tuesdays and then goes to Burlington for swim practices on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. She also works out with a personal trainer on Mondays and Wednesdays. "The workouts have been getting harder and harder," she said. She qualified for FINA at the world trials in Victoria this April. She made a qualifying time of 1:00.85, shaving two seconds off her best time. She won a silver in the 100-metre backstroke, a bronze in the 50m back and bronze in the 4 x 100-metre freestyle, she said.

Kristina is Coach by Cecil Russell who is the father of Sinead Russell winner of the 100 back stroke event both girls swim train with each other every day.

The road to the Olympics in Rio for 2016 will take more work and dedication.

She used to play volleyball but gave it up to focus on swimming. Qualifying for FINA has already meant Kristina has had to turn down invitations to parties and events. "I have no social life," she said. "But it's worth it. I would rather be on top of a podium." She will attend her prom this year, she added.

The adventure will start in June with the Mare Nostrum tournament, a series of swim meets in Europe, for two weeks. She chose to attend the Mare Nostrum because it will give her a chance to swim in the same pool to be used in FINA and there are mandatory meets she must attend before FINA, she said. The competition at FINA will be a good experience and help prepare her for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, if she qualifies. Following that event Kristina said her next goal is the Olympics in Rio for 2016. "I think I have a shot," she said. This fall Kristina is going to the University of Louisville in Kentucky on a full scholarship for swimming. The school offers a top swimming team, which will help her train for her next challenges, she said. Even though she is studying in the United States, she will still be able to race for Canada, she said. She plans to study general arts and sciences and may focus on psychology. She has visited the school and is excited about the coming year. "I loved it -- everyone is so nice," she said.

To date Kristina has set 12 National Records during the 2015-2016 season short course and long course.

Kristina Steins has made the B Qualifying time for RIO 2016 and is off to swim European Championships in London May 15th - 22nd 2016

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