Olympic swimmer talks teamwork and butterflies at Gordon Greenwood
Teamwork and never giving up are key qualities that will lead to success, swimmer Martha McCabe told a packed gym at Gordon Greenwood Elementary on Wednesday.
“Always use each other as a positive thing and work with each other to move forward,” said McCabe.
“Supporting each other always gives you this new power.”
McCabe, a Toronto native who now lives in Vancouver, is one of Canada’s great hopes for the Summer Olympics which open in London on July 27 and run until Aug. 12.
A competitor in the 200m breaststroke, McCabe was asked the inevitable question about nerves on competition days. She surprised many with her answer: She makes butterflies in her tummy work to her advantage because nerves force her to focus on swimming well.
The students can use that strategy, too, she suggested.
“In school, if you want to do something well you can’t be distracted,” she said.
Her attitude, work ethic, and four hours a day in the pool has led McCabe to what may be the biggest event of her life. And, she told the students, “to qualify for the Olympics is really special.”
McCabe was invited to the school by teacher Ronda Salli whose daughters Chelsey and Rochelle are both competitive swimmers. They both took part in Olympic trials.
Gordon Greenwood Elementary has a large number of students who belong to the Langley Olympians swim club. The school is close to the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre where the club trains and hosts competitions.