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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

CAROLYN WALDO

Inducted in 1991

Member Details

Date of Birth: December 11, 1964
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Sport: Synchronized Swimming
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1984

Silver medal, solo, Olympic Games

1985

Paired with Michelle Cameron

Gold medal, duet, Rome and Spanish Opens

1985-1988

Velma Springstead Award

1986

Gold medal, duet, Commonwealth Games

Gold medal, duet and solo, World Championships

1987-1988

Bobbie Rosenfeld Trophy

1988

Gold medal, duet and solo, Olympic Games

Lou Marsh Trophy

Honoured Member CAROLYN WALDO
Inspire

Story

The combination of athletic ability, precise performance, and communication are the minimum requirements for elite competition in a sport such as synchronized swimming. It takes an extraordinary capacity to communicate with one's partner, while at the same time ensuring technical precision in one's own performance. It was this aggregate of skill and instinct that made Michelle Cameron and Carolyn Waldo our nation's most successful synchronized swimming duo. Michelle Cameron took up competitive synchronized swimming in 1976 with her hometown club, the Calgary Aquabelles. Under the tutelage of coach Debbie Muir, the Aquabelles won six of eight national championships between 1981 and 1988. It took Carolyn Waldo several years to overcome her fear of water following a near drowning at the age of three. Once back in the pool, she quickly mastered the skills of synchronized swimming. In 1982, the reputation of Muir and the Aquabelles lured Waldo to Calgary. It was coach Debbie Muir who saw that Cameron and Waldo were a perfect match for the duet event and paired them up in 1985. With complementary body types, matching skills in flexibility and endurance, and seamless communication, these two swimmers were able to give the impression that they were mirror images of each other. This dynamic duo won nearly every major duet competition they entered, including the 1985 Rome and Spanish Opens, the 1985 FINA World Cup, the 1986 Spanish Open, the 1986 Commonwealth Games, the 1986 World Championships, the 1987 Pan Pacific Championships, and the 1987 FINA World Cup. At the 1986 World Aquatic Championships, Canada swept the entire competition with Waldo's solo gold, Waldo and Cameron's duet gold, and the Aquabelle team gold, marking the first time that one country has won all three events since 1975. Favoured to win the gold in Seoul in 1988, the duo did not disappoint. The pair used their powerful manoeuvres to build an insurmountable lead in the compulsories and then swam their free routine to win the gold over the Josephson twins of the United States. Both Waldo and Cameron retired following their tremendous Olympic success. While dominating the podiums of world duet competitions, Carolyn Waldo was also a dominating force in the solo event. She claimed a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics, gold at the 1986 World Championships, and gold at the 1988 Olympics. This last victory combined with the duet gold she won with Cameron made her the first Canadian woman to win two Olympic gold medals at a single Games. She received the Bobbie Rosenfeld Trophy as Canada's top female athlete in both 1987 and 1988 and was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as our nation's finest athlete in 1988.


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