Final countdown for Canada’s London-bound Olympians

No time for tea as Greater Victoria's London-bound Olympians enjoy English flavoured sendoff

Swimmer Blake Worsley

And away they go, almost.

The majority of the Victoria-based athletes heading to this summer’s Olympic Games were celebrated with the English flavoured Lift-off to London event, a theme fulfilled by the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Some did the queen wave longer than others (swimmers), as the spirit of the event came alive when the group left the Ivy Ballroom for a group photo on a double-decker bus in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The Olympics run July 27 to Aug. 12.

“It’s not long now, which is nice because this is the most exhaustive training block I’ve ever done,” said swimmer Alec Page.

The Victoria native has his days ahead figured out before he competes in the 400 individual medley on July 28.

“No easy ones until we get to London the week before the Games,” he said. That includes the internationally attended Canada Cup swim meet in Montreal, July 5 to 8.

Page is one of seven swimmers going to the London Olympics from the Victoria Academy of Swimming at Saanich Commonwealth Place. At 18, Page will be one year younger in London than Ryan Cochrane was in Beijing.

“I have a few Olympics ahead of me, that’s for sure.”

Lift-off to London opened with Wendy Pattenden, CEO of the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific, explaining that Greater Victoria-based athletes account for approximately 15 per cent of the Olympic squad.

“The goal is to finish among the top 12 nations,” she said.

Canada would be happy to beat its second best result from the Summer Olympics, which was seven golds and 18 medals in total from the 1992 Games in Barcelona. Canada’s top finish was the 1984 Games in Los Angeles when it benefitted from the Soviet Union’s boycott, winning 10 golds and 44 medals in all, and ranking sixth place.

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