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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

ANNE OTTENBRITE

Inducted in 1994

Member Details

Date of Birth: May 12, 1966
Place of Birth: Whitby, Ontario
Sport: Swimming
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1982

World Aquatic Championships - Silver medal, 100m breaststroke

Commonwealth Games - Gold medal, 200m breaststroke

Female Swimmer of the Year, Canadian Amateur Swimming Association

1983

Aquatic Swimming Association's Female Athlete of the Year

Pan-Am Games - Gold medal, 100m breaststroke

Pan-Am Games - Silver medal, 4x100m relay

1984

Los Angeles Olympic Games - Gold medal, 200m breaststroke

Los Angeles Olympic Games - Silver medal, 100m breaststroke

Los Angeles Olympic Games - Bronze medal, 4x100m medley relay

Honoured Member ANNE OTTENBRITE
Inspire

Story

Anne Ottenbrite was made for the water. In the pool, she was swift and graceful as a dolphin. On land, however, she was a self-proclaimed accident waiting to happen. One month prior to the Canadian Olympic swimming trials in June of 1984, Ottenbrite, dislocated her right kneecap in a freak accident involving a pair of high heels. Though this injury prevented her from competing for a spot on the 1984 Olympic team, the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association granted her a place on the team based on her superb record. Ottenbrite finished the 200m breaststroke in 2 minutes 30.38 seconds, becoming the first Canadian woman to claim Olympic gold in swimming.  Ottenbrite joined the National Team in 1981 and first came to national attention when she won a silver medal in the 100m and a bronze in the 200m breaststroke at the 1982 World Aquatic Championships. Later that year, she captured gold in the 200m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games. In 1983, at the Pan-American Games, she was favoured to win the 200m event but was disqualified for using what the judges decided was an illegal dolphin kick. After a day's practice with a slightly revised version of the kick, she won gold in the 100m breaststroke and helped the Canadian 100m medley relay team to a silver medal finish. By the time the 1984 Olympic Games rolled around, Canada had waited 72 years for a gold medal in the Olympic pool. Ottenbrite claimed her 200m breaststroke gold within 30 minutes of Alex Baumann's victory in the 400m medley relay, changing the face of Canadian Olympic Swimming forever. But Ottenbrite didn't stop there; she added to this triumph with a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and was a critical part of the bronze medal winning effort of the 400m medley relay team.  After retiring from the national team in 1986, Ottenbrite turned her talents toward coaching. She was a coach with the University of Guelph and the Guelph Marlins Swim Club throughout the 1990s. For her brilliant aquatic achievement, Ottenbrite has been honoured by numerous athletic organizations. She was named female swimmer of the year in 1982 by the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association, and female athlete of the year in 1983 by the Canadian Aquatic Federation. She has received honoured places in the Canadian Aquatic and the International Swimming Halls of Fame, and she was also named to the Order of Canada in 1984.


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